Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


Dual-Purpose Positioner Gets Its Baptism of Fire

The first NIF target shot using the facility’s new Target and Diagnostic Manipulator, known as TANDM, was fired on Sept. 20. The first of two TANDMs slated for installation on NIF, the combination diagnostic inserter and target positioner will enhance NIF’s efficiency by allowing the cryogenic target positioner to remain dedicated to growing cryogenically cooled target layers, while the TANDM and the TarPos target positioner alternate in positioning targets for room temperature and cryogenic target experiments. Alignment Operator Aligns TANDM(Above) In the NIF Control Room, Alignment Operator Oscar Rodriguez remotely maneuvers the TANDM into position in the center of the NIF Target Chamber. (Below) The TANDM inserts a gold sphere x-ray calibration target into the jaws of the target alignment sensor. TANDM is among a large number of efficiency improvements that have enabled NIF to fire more than 400 target shots this fiscal year (see “NIF Tops 400 Shots in Fiscal Year 2016”). TANDM Inserts Target Into TAS

In diagnostics mode, TANDM will provide substantially better access for exchanging instruments between NIF shots than the current diagnostic instrument manipulators, while also providing the ability to transition into a target positioner in less than four hours. The design is expected to support diagnostic exchanges in less than one hour and snout exchanges in less than 20 minutes from when the door is opened.

The new positioner is an important element in achieving the productivity goals established in the “120-Day Study” of NIF efficiency improvements while increasing the rate of integrated experiments with cryogenic fuel layers.

The TANDM engineering and commissioning team was led by Terry Malsbury and includes Shannon Ayers, Tom Kohut, and Arlen Rowe. “The team has done a fantastic job of bringing a very complicated capability online quickly, safely and efficiently. It’s a great team,” said NIF Facility Manager Doug Larson.

The second TANDM is scheduled to be installed on NIF in March of next year.

Engineer Inspects TANDM Front EndMechanical Engineer Arlen Rowe inspects the target manipulator front end just prior to installation on the TANDM boom for the Sept. 20 target shot.