Inertial confinement fusion with laser light requires the symmetric implosion of targets to < 10−3 of their initial volume. In the direct drive approach to laser fusion it is estimated that this requires symmetrical ablation pressure to a uniformity of ~1 %. In the currently known conditions of laser light absorption and thermal energy transport, this places strict demands on the uniformity of irradiation with multibeam laser systems. To date this aspect has not been investigated experimentally. This paper presents some initial studies of the problem performed with Rochester’s 24-beam 1-nsec Omega laser system. These studies center on diagnosing the sensitivity of target implosion dynamics to known degrees of irradiation uniformity.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

PDF Article