New sensors are installed along a robust arc surrounding the target, the main idea is to measure output electromagnetic and optical/particle radiation energy.
In a first test, a high power electromagnetic bilayer plasma expansion was detected.
The optical energy output was very low as long as the copper layer covered the arc did not increase its temperature very much.
Unfortunately, the power supply suffered a short circuit during installation and the fuse was blown. The new power supply does not work and the third does not give enough current, so the test could not be repeated.
In another way, the Miranda reactor structure was finalized
During the 5th test campaign, the array of sensors finally survived the huge explosion generating megabits of data. We will have to automate the reading of them. Next week a second data acquisition equipment will allow us to capture data from another 4 sensors at 1 Giga sample/second, and we hope to install new sensors to measure generated power with or without thermonuclear fuel. In addition, we have received inert gas equipment to work with precision binocular to load fuel in the Argon atmosphere. Another inert gas equipment is manufacturing. Additionally, Miranda reactor components and alpha-particle shielding components have been commissioned. I barely have time to upload a small capture of the last essay but unfortunately is not a very good image to be taken with an old high-speed camera. We are also in negotiations with a German company interested in building targets serially. That could help us to achieve the pressure obtained in the Ivy Mike hydrogen bomb (but with a much lower fuel). In addition, the technological institute that works with us is analyzing the data from the previous tests but the coronavirus is working again that.
Another new is that the Pulsotron-3 was presented in Irin in the Go-Mobility congress in the middle of several coronavirus alerts.
We call it “the sensor destroyer”, as it destroys all unfortunate sensors that try to survive to its powerful plasma ball.
After hard work, it was repaired the Pulsotron-3. Only 2 tests were performed because the sensor optical front-end was removed in the second test and must be repaired.
It was not possible to mount the old sensor array because one of the photodiodes was burned, but still, we will try to replace it.
We tested the Geiger alpha particle sensor and fortunately the measurement is not affected by the electromagnetic shock.
Also, 4 new sensors are building: a new sensor array with an optical front end that will detect the plasma ball size, a second two photodiodes coupled to scintillators, and 2 “arc array” that will measure output power. We will try to measure the increase of the output energy that must be higher with fusion fuel ignition than without fuel. Also, in the arc sensors, a charge sensor must measure incoming charges.
In the second shot (number 3008), the isolation was broken and the small plasma ball generated run away through the transmission line scratching and destroying all its isolation along its path, as can be seen in the images at second and 3rd captions.
Also, the target injector was broken and we could see in the high-speed camera its burning fly. We hope in the future that fewer things are broken.
Here is a photo of Dani making some metal works during the repairings
In the 3rd test campaign, it was made two tests, with great success as it was measured the storage of magnetic energy in the target to allow use it to compress the target to make fusion.
As can be seen in the attached plot in the yellow line it was measured the capacitor bank voltage drop. It can be seen how its discharge 1/2 of the voltage (about a 75% of the energy) in the target before it begins to emit energy es can be seen in the other channels that represents the light acquired by an array of photodiodes pointing using accurate optics to the center of the target and also two longer distances. it can be seen how the plasma ball increasing starting about 1 microsecond after the beginning of the discharge
It was similar to the results obtained in the following 3005 test. Both tests were done with the help of new High Voltage probes.
Also, a better electromagnetic design reduced a lot of electrode erosion.
The new Pulsotron actually generates electromagnetic waves of up to 13 kiloteslas, unfortunately, the waves evaporate insulation parts of the Pulsotron-3, so during the charging of the capacitor bank during the test number 3006, several blasts in three different parts so we had to turn it off. Thanks to several security systems, no one was injured. The main power supply, the measurement systems, and the control system were not affected because we designed a High Voltage unit resistant to short circuits.
In the attached images it was seen in the previous test how a cloud of fire is generated that burns eroded plastics of the internal parts.
Also, it was obtained from a laboratory camera an image of one of the internal blast
Actually the team is working hard to make Pulsotron-3 in service as fast as possible. This problem and the problems we had before allows us to learn and improve a lot the z-pinch technology use to build a working electric generator as fast as possible
Targets 3001-3003 were tested. The main idea is to check if the plasma ball is contained inside the reaction chamber enough time to make ignition. Also, it was checked two sensors.
It was built carefully an array of photodiodes and electrical power of them carefully inserted in optical parts aligned with the plasma ball to measure accurately the expansion of the plasma ball. The whole system was mounted inside a small structure made in a 3-d injection machine. To maintain that instrument close to the plasma ball a structure was mounted, we name it “diagnostic tower”. Unfortunately, in the first shot, the 3-d injection enclosure was destroyed and blown away in less than 50 microseconds, as can be seen in the high-speed video captures:
But it was a disaster as we needed the plasma ball expansion data, so we had to improvise, so we used a similar instrument made for Pulsotron-2, fortunately, its batteries still worked, then a new diagnostic tower was made in a hurry cutting extruded aluminum profiles. In the shot 3002, the old sensors were exposed to a lot higher light levels than the Pulsotron-2, so they were saturated, so it was increased the scope scale and tested again in test 3003 that was successful.
After the tests several megabytes of sensor data are now being processing
A new borosilicate body arrived at the laboratory. It was built in a Sevilla specialized company. Actually we are building coils to be attached to the new reactor body. The coils will be connected to the main capacitor bank using some of the most powerful Silicon Carbide SCRs built especially for us in a Chinese company
It was tested charging and discharging, measured the capacitance.
Also, it was made an unloaded target shot that was performed at 100% of the capacitor bank capacity.
The image resolution is low due it was taken using a high-speed camera. It can be seen the detonation of the reactor after the compression. In the early tests of the Pulsotron-1A and 1B Z-pinch machines, some confinement chamber survived to the discharge and could be reused, but it was impossible after overcoming 60 gigapascal pressure.
In the test it was checked some safety systems and also it was acquired the shot performance but the time scale must be modified next time. A lot of jobs must be done before making a loaded test as install radiation sensors, another acquisition system to have enough channels. Also, it will be needed to check the simulations.
Some scientists pointed out the possibility that the discharge could be performed in air, so we usually install optical and electromagnetic sensors that measure the plasma ball dimensions during the discharge. These sensors must be installed in the new machine.
A specific energy sensor is designing now to allow measure the radiated energy including alpha, photons from infrared to ultraviolet and low energy X rays
It was finished the structure of Pulsotron-3. It was connected to the HV controller. Also, it was done load test at 20% and discharge test.
Remote measurement system OK also
It must be installed the remote firing system and the target fixture
Miranda reactor is at 32%. We have one of the capacitor banks and the reactor body was built at Zaragoza Spanish University. They needed 2 months and 6 failed reactor bodies to build the final body. We needed to simulate 970000 reactors to decide what was the best of them to be built. It is a magnetic confinement reactor that uses extremely very high density and temperature plasma. Miranda reactor is a totally new reactor with no tokamak shape that allows confining 750keV plasma and also 3.3MeV alpha particles
There is a collection of reactors that could generate ignition in different configurations
The last one is designed to try confination of 100% of the alpha particles to make a more useful and compact reactor without external energy harvesting coils, but a lot of new simulations will be done to see if it is possible. This is the result of simulation of the new SIX reactor
In order to sustain the reaction, it is needed to generate more energy than injected. one method is using created alpha particles to heat up the fuel. As long as >2.2MeV particles are very difficult to confine, only a few of them remain inside, so the confinement must be increased.