Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory


‘Transformative Diagnostics’ for HED Experiments

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) held a review of the National Diagnostic Plan (NDP) at the Laboratory Jan. 13-14. The NDP was reviewed by six NNSA-selected national experts on high energy density (HED) diagnostics. The NDP includes the development of “transformative” new diagnostic equipment for HED experiments at NIF, the OMEGA Laser Facility at the University of Rochester, and the Z Facility at Sandia National Laboratories.

More than 70 researchers from across the NNSA research complex attended and reviewed elements of the NDP. The plan was developed last year in response to a request by Congress and was designed to meet the needs of users of the three laboratories.

Researchers Discuss National Diagnostic PlanResearchers meet at LLNL to discuss diagnostics needs for high energy density research.

“These are exciting times for HED science,” said Sandia’s Greg Rochau in a presentation outlining the plan. “HED facilities are operating at an unprecedented level of energy, power, and precision.” But in order to realize the “full potential” of the current research, he said, “new and more precise diagnostic techniques are needed to provide insight into detailed physical phenomena and a more stringent test of models.”

Rochau said current diagnostics are “largely based on old technology,” while the National Diagnostic Plan builds on “exciting recent developments in transformative technologies to meet research needs spanning a wide range of platforms, plasma conditions, and measurement requirements.”

Eight types of transformative diagnostics for use at the three HED facilities were described at the meeting for experiments involving such research areas as high-pressure materials, complex hydrodynamics, ignition applications and burn, and radiation transport, opacity, and effects.

Kirk Levedahl from NNSA Defense Programs welcomed the group. LLNL presenters were Warren Hsing, who discussed the mission need for future diagnostics; Steven Ross, who joined Dustin Froula of the University of Rochester in a presentation on hohlraum density and temperature by optical Thompson scattering; Marilyn Schneider, who discussed time-resolved temperature and density from x-ray spectroscopy; and Mike Pivovaroff, whose topic was x-ray imaging at 20-50 keV.

Attending were researchers from LLNL, Sandia, the Laboratory for Laser Energetics at the University of Rochester, Los Alamos National Laboratory, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, General Atomics, National Security Technologies, and the UK’s Atomic Weapons Establishment.