Air Force Research Lab (Grad)

Event Date: April 15, 2015
Speaker: Matthew Domonkos
Speaker Affiliation: AFRL
Sponsor: AFRL
Type: Grad
Time: 3:30 pm
Location: FRNY B124

Magnetized Plasma Compression Research at AFRL


M.T. Domonkos,[1] J.H. Degnan,*T.C. Grabowski,*D.J. Amdahl,*E.L. Ruden,*G.A. Wurden,[2] M.H. Frese,[3] S.D. Frese,‡J.F. Camacho,‡S.K. Coffey,‡G.F. Kiuttu[4], A.G. Lynn[5], K. Yates,[6] B.S. Bauer,††S. Fuelling††


Energy production based on controlled thermonuclear fusion continues to be an immature technology that faces extremely challenging obstacles to its viability.  Approaches typically seek to manage the extreme environment required to drive the fusion reactions by some combination of magnetic insulation and inertial confinement, hence the monikers of magnetic fusion energy (MFE) and inertial confinement fusion (ICF), respectively, given by the fusion research community.  Magnetized plasma compression (MPC) is a hybrid approach to controlled thermonuclear fusion that employs aspects of both MFE and ICF to achieve the conditions necessary to drive fusion reactions.  We present some of the scaling relations and conclusions that indicate that magnetized plasma compression may be a viable approach to energy production given existing facilities, materials, and technologies.  In addition, some key findings and accomplishments of a DOE funded magnetized plasma compression research program are presented.  The field reversed configuration heating experiment (FRCHX) has been a collaborative effort (The Air Force Research Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, University of Nevada-Reno, University of New Mexico, SAIC, and NumerEx, LLC) to demonstrate MPC.  The approach relies on the formation of a field reversed configuration plasma (FRC), a plasma with poloidal closed magnetic field lines.  The FRC is translated to the interior of a solid metal liner where a multi-mega-ampere discharge implodes the liner, simultaneously compressing the FRC to fusion conditions.  This multi-year research program has advanced the state of knowledge about MPC.  This talk will highlight magnetic field design, FRC production and energy content, and compression experiments.



Dr. Matt Domonkos is currently a Principal Physicist with the Directed Energy Directorate in the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL).  He has been with the AFRL since 2003 during which time he has been working in the area of high energy density plasmas, pulsed power, and microwave systems.  He is currently engaged in research in magnetized plasma compression schemes for fusion energy and the development of compact pulsed power systems.  From 2000-2003, Dr. Domonkos worked as an Aerospace Engineer at the NASA John H. Glenn Research Center and as Senior Research Associate at the Ohio Aerospace Institute.  He received the BS in Mechanical Engineering from the University of New Mexico in 1994, the MS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1996, and the Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1999.


[1] The Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, Kirtland AFB, NM  87117 USA

[2] Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545 USA

[3] NumerEx LLC, Albuquerque, NM 87106 USA

[4] Varitech Services, Albuquerque, NM 87112 USA

[5] University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131 USA

[6] University of Nevada - Reno, Reno, NV 89557 USA


2015-04-15 16:30:00 2015-04-15 17:30:00 America/New_York Air Force Research Lab (Grad) FRNY B124