This milestone has been accomplished. The Heavy Ion Fusion Science Virtual National Laboratory (HIFS-VNL) has developed and implemented an initial beam-in-plasma implicit modeling capability in Warp; has carried out tests validating the behavior of the models employed; has compared the results of electrostatic and electromagnetic models when applied to beam expansion in an NDCX-I relevant regime; has compared Warp and LSP results on a problem relevant to NDCX-I; has modeled wave excitation by a rigid beam propagating through plasma; and has implemented and begun testing a more advanced implicit method that correctly captures electron drift motion even when timesteps too large to resolve the electron gyro-period are employed. The HIFS-VNL is well on its way toward having a state-of-the-art source-to-target simulation capability that will enable more effective support of ongoing experiments in the NDCX series and allow more confident planning for future ones.
The Heavy Ion Fusion Science Virtual National Laboratory (HIFS-VNL), a collaboration of LBNL, LLNL, and PPPL, has achieved 60-fold pulse compression of ion beams on the Neutralized Drift Compression eXperiment (NDCX) at LBNL. In NDCX, a ramped voltage pulse from an induction cell imparts a velocity "tilt" to the beam; the beam's tail then catches up with its head in a plasma environment that provides neutralization. The HIFS-VNL's mission is to carry out studies of Warm Dense Matter (WDM) physics using ion beams as the energy source; an emerging thrust is basic target physics for heavy ion-driven Inertial Fusion Energy (IFE). These goals require an improved platform, labeled NDCX-II. Development of NDCX-II at modest cost was recently enabled by the availability of induction cells and associated hardware from the decommissioned Advanced Test Accelerator (ATA) facility at LLNL. Our initial physics design concept accelerates a ~;;30 nC pulse of Li+ ions to ~;;3 MeV, then compresses it to ~;;1 ns while focusing it onto a mm-scale spot. It uses the ATA cells themselves (with waveforms shaped by passive circuits) to impart the final velocity tilt; smart pulsers provide small corrections. The ATA accelerated electrons; acceleration of non-relativistic ions involves more complex beam dynamics both transversely and longitudinally. We are using analysis, an interactive one-dimensional kinetic simulation model, and multidimensional Warp-code simulations to develop the NDCX-II accelerator section. Both LSP and Warp codes are being applied to the beam dynamics in the neutralized drift and final focus regions, and the plasma injection process. The status of this effort is described.
The Heavy Ion Fusion Science Virtual National Laboratory(a collaboration of LBNL, LLNL, and PPPL) is using intense ion beams to heat thin foils to the "warm dense matter" regime at <~;; 1 eV, and is developing capabilities for studying target physics relevant to ion-driven inertial fusion energy. The need for rapid target heating led to the development of plasma-neutralized pulse compression, with current amplification factors exceeding 50 now routine on the Neutralized Drift Compression Experiment (NDCX). Construction of an improved platform, NDCX-II, has begun at LBNL with planned completion in 2012. Using refurbished induction cells from the Advanced Test Accelerator at LLNL, NDCX-II will compress a ~;;500 ns pulse of Li+ ions to ~;;1 ns while accelerating it to 3-4 MeV over ~;;15 m. Strong space charge forces are incorporated into the machine design at a fundamental level. We are using analysis, an interactive 1D PIC code (ASP) with optimizing capabilities and centroid tracking, and multi-dimensional Warpcode PIC simulations, to develop the NDCX-II accelerator. This paper describes the computational models employed, and the resulting physics design for the accelerator.