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.
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.