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  1. During the first few hundred picoseconds of indirect drive for inertial confinement fusion on the National Ignition Facility, x-ray spots formed on the hohlraum wall when the drive beams cast shadows of the fuel fill-tube on the capsule surface. Differential ablation at the shadow boundaries seeds perturbations which are hydrodynamically unstable under subsequent acceleration and can grow to impact capsule performance. Furthermore, we have characterized this shadow imprint mechanism and demonstrated two techniques to mitigate against it using (i) a reduced diameter fuel fill-tube, and (ii) a pre-pulse to blow down the fill-tube before the shadow forming x-ray spots frommore » the main outer drive beams develop.« less
  2. First time-integrated neutron images of a deuterium gas filled capsule were obtained using arrival time gating with the Neutron Imaging System at the National Ignition Facility. Images exist from DT (deuterium and tritium mixture) filled capsules in several energy bands but only at the Omega laser had DD (pure deuterium) filled capsules been imaged. A composite image was derived from an assembly of multiple penumbral neutron images using an iterative Maximum Likelihood reconstruction technique. This was compared with a simulated image from a radiation-hydrodynamic calculation. The observed image size, and shape agree, as do the primary DD, secondary DT neutronmore » yields, and the burn duration. However, the observed cross-sectional profiles, although smaller in half width, extend outside the calculated, suggesting that deuterium has mixed outward into the carbon ablator. The observed X-ray image size (61 μm) is larger than the observed neutron image (51 μm). The calculations also reflect this. X-ray brightness includes carbon as well as deuterium emission. A bright spot, “meteor,” in the X-ray image is seen to move in time-gated images, but is not evident in the neutron image. Furthermore, it does not appear to degrade the neutron yield.« less
  3. A series of indirectly driven capsule implosions has been performed on the National Ignition Facility to assess the relative contributions of ablation-front instability growth vs. fuel compression on implosion performance. Laser pulse shapes for both low and high-foot pulses were modified to vary ablation-front growth & fuel adiabat, separately and controllably. Two principal conclusions are drawn from this study: 1) It is shown that an increase in laser picket energy reduces ablation-front instability growth in low-foot implosions resulting in a substantial (3-10X) increase in neutron yield with no loss of fuel compression. 2.) It is shown that a decrease inmore » laser trough power reduces the fuel adiabat in high-foot implosions results in a significant (36%) increase in fuel compression together with no reduction in neutron yield. These results taken collectively bridge the space between the higher compression low-foot results and the higher yield high-foot results.« less
    Cited by 24Full Text Available
  4. Radiation-driven, layered deuterium-tritium plastic capsule implosions were carried out using a new, 3-shock “adiabat-shaped” drive on the National Ignition Facility. The purpose of adiabat shaping is to use a stronger first shock, reducing hydrodynamic instability growth in the ablator. The shock can decay before reaching the deuterium-tritium fuel leaving it on a low adiabat and allowing higher fuel compression. The fuel areal density was improved by ~25% with this new drive compared to similar “high-foot” implosions, while neutron yield was improved by more than 4 times, compared to “low-foot” implosions driven at the same compression and implosion velocity.
    Cited by 18Full Text Available

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