NIF’s second target and diagnostic manipulator, known as TanDM 124, was moved into position in the Target Bay on Feb. 28. The TanDM positioners were designed to enhance NIF’s capabilities and efficiency by improving the facility’s ability to alternate between cryogenic and warm targets and by increasing the capacity to diagnose experiments (see “NIF’s Dual-Purpose Positioner Is Proving Its Worth”).
The first TanDM, installed last year, has been dedicated to inserting targets. TanDM 124 will focus on diagnostic manipulation. The ability to deploy more diagnostics enables NIF to capture more data on a single experiment, improving the facility’s productivity. Alternately, the new TanDM can be used to reduce the frequency with which diagnostics must be exchanged to support an experimental configuration. The new capability was developed with the help of and to support NIF’s Stockpile Stewardship Program users.
The TanDMs were designed with the efficiency of NIF’s workers in mind: a diagnostic instrument can be exchanged in about one-fourth the time of TanDM’s predecessor machine. And the large and numerous access ports allow NIF’s Operations Team to quickly exchange consumables or x-ray imaging components between shots.
The TANDMs also are proving to be extremely stable and reliable—they can hold a target or a diagnostic in the center of the Target Chamber in position to within less than 50 microns, smaller than the diameter of a human hair.
When connections and activation are completed on TanDM 124, NIF will have two cryogenic target positioners, three dedicated diagnostic positioners, and the two TanDMs, which can insert either non-cryo targets or diagnostics.