HiPER

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HiPER

Postby BlueWater on Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:54 pm

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HiPER is a proposed European High Power laser Energy Research facility dedicated to demonstrating the feasibility of laser driven fusion as a future energy source.HiPER is the first experiment designed specifically to study the "fast ignition" approach to generating nuclear fusion, which uses much smaller lasers than conventional designs, yet produces fusion power outputs of about the same magnitude.

Fusion energy is an attractive, environmentally clean power source using sea water as its principal source of fuel. No greenhouse gases or long-lived radioactive waste materials are produced. The fusion reactions release high-energy particles, some of which (primarily alpha particles) collide with the high density fuel around it and slow down. This heats the fuel further, and can potentially cause that fuel to undergo fusion as well. To date most ICF experiments have used lasers to heat the targets. Calculations show that the energy must be delivered quickly in order to compress the core before it disassembles, as well as creating a suitable shock wave
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Description

Postby BlueWater on Fri Nov 04, 2011 6:19 pm

In the case of HiPER,The driver consists of a number of "beamlines" containing Nd:glass laser amplifiers at one end of the building. The glass is not particularly effective at transferring power into the beam,each time gaining more power.One problem for the HiPER project is that Nd:glass is no longer being produced commercially, so a number of options need to be studied to ensure supply of the estimated 1,300 disks.

The filter is essentially a telescope that focuses the beam into a spot some distance away.where a small pinhole located at the focal point cuts off any "stray" light caused by inhomogeneities in the laser beam. The beam then widens out until a second lens returns it to a straight beam again. In the case of HiPER, the filters take up about 50% of the overall length. The beam width at exit of the driver system is about 40 cm × 40 cm.

When the amplification process is complete the laser light enters the experimental chamber, lying at one end of the building.Since the overall distances from the ends of the beamlines to different points on the target chamber are different, delays are introduced on the individual paths to ensure they all reach the center of the chamber at the same time, within about 10 ps. The target, a fusion fuel pellet about 1 mm in diameter in the case of HiPER, lies at the center of the chamber.

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In 2005 HiPER completed a preliminary study outlining possible approaches and arguments for its construction.

In parallel, the HiPER project also proposes to build smaller laser systems with higher repetition rates. The high-powered flash lamps used to pump the laser amplifier glass causes it to deform, and it cannot be fired again until it cools off, which takes as long as a day. HiPER proposes to build a demonstrator diode-pump system producing 10 kJ at 1 Hz or 1 kJ at 10 Hz depending on a design choice yet to be made.

In order to make a practical commercial power generator, the high-gain of a device like HiPER would have to be combined with a high-repetition rate laser and a target chamber capable of extracting the power.
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