A laser-driven pellet accelerator for CTR fuel injection.
Hoy, Jeffrey Craig
Politzer, Peter A.
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The high-speed ballistic injection of a solid spherical pellet of deuterium-tritium ice into a magnetically confined thermonuclear reactor plasma has been suggested as a technique of controlled thermonuclear reactor fueling. This experiment is intended to be a preliminary test of the feasibility of accelerating macroscopic fuel pellets using a pulsed ruby laser operating in the conventional mode. Pellet velocities in the range of 1,000-10,000 m/sec are required to enable the pellets to penetrate and effectively refuel the reactor plasma. In this study, cellulose acetate pellets were used to simulate deuterium-tritium fuel. When placed in a vacuum enclosed tube, they were accelerated by the reaction to the laser induced ablation cloud from the exposed half of the pellet. Pellet velocities of over 200 m/sec were achieved. The velocities were measured by stroboscopic photography, and the pellets were weighed to determine the fraction ablated.
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