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Application of Microgravity and Containerless Environments to the Investigation of Fusion Target Fabrication Technology*

  • Mark C. Lee (a1), James M. Kendall (a1), Daniel D. Elleman (a1), Won-Kyu Rhim (a1), Roger S. Helizon (a1), Charles L. Youngberg (a1), I-An Feng (a1) and Taylor G. Wang (a1)...

Abstract

During the past few years we have been studying several of the physical processes relevant to the production of spherical shells for inertial confinement fusion targets, both in a microgravity environment and in a containerless environment. The work has led to the development of several experimental facilities. Those which are most unique are described here, and fall into three categories as follows: 1. Ones which provide an induced low- or microgravity containerless environment, such as a vertical drag-free wind tunnel, two differing low-pressure and/or high-temperature drop towers for processing metallic or metallic-glass specimens, and a neutral buoyancy tank, 2. Ones providing containerless processing capability, such as a focusing radiator and an electrostatic levitator and 3. Ones providing extended microgravity and containerless capabilities, such as the KC-135 aircraft and the Space Processing Application Rockets. The physical processes which we have been studying include, but are not limited to, those which establish the shell sphericity, concentricity, surface topology, material properties, coatings, heating and cooling requirements and the effects of gravity on fusion pellet fabrication processes.

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*

This research carried out by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, under contract with NASA.

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1. Downs, R. L. Miller, W. J.. Inertial fusion pellets of germania and silica, Technical Digest, Conference on Inertial Confinement Fusion, p. 92.
2. Hendricks, C. D., ICF Targets, Technical Digest, Conference on Inertial Confinement Fusion, p. 80, 1980.
3. Woerner, R. L. Draper, V. F. Koo, J. C. and Hendricks, C. D., Fabrication of glass spheres for laser fusion targets, Technical Digest, Conference on Inertial Confinement Fusion, p. 32, 1980.
4. Kendall, J. M. Jr., Hydrodynamic performance of an annular liquid jet: production of spherical shells, Proceedings of Second International Colloquium on Drops and Bubbles, November 1981, Monterey, California (to be published).
5. Kendall, J. M. Lee, M. C. and Wang, T. G., Metal Shell Technology Based Upon Hollow Jet Instability, submitted to J.V.S.T., Sept. 1981.
6. Lee, M. C. Kendall, J. M. and Johnson, W. L., Spheres of the Metallic Glass Au55 Pb22.5.Sb22 5 and their Surface Characteristics, submitted to Applied Physics Letter.
7. Saffren, M. Elleman, D. and Rhim, W-K., Dynamics of Compound Drop Systems, Proceedings of Second International Colloquium on Drops and Bubbles, November 1981, Monterey, California (to be published).

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