The National Ignition Facility (NIF), currently under construction at the University of California s Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) is a stadium-sized facility containing a 192-beam, 1.8 Megajoule, 500-Terrawatt, 351-nm laser system together with a 10-meter diameter target chamber with room for nearly 100 experimental diagnostics. NIF is being built by the National Nuclear Security Administration and when completed will be the world s largest laser
experimental system, providing a national center to study inertial confinement fusion and the physics of matter at extreme energy densities and pressures. NIF s 192 energetic laser beams will compress fusion targets to conditions where they will ignite and burn, liberating more energy than required to initiate the fusion reaction. The first four beamlines (a quad) are currently being commissioned, with increasingly energetic laser pulses being propagated throughout the laser system. Success on many of the NIF laser s missions depends on obtaining precisely specified energy waveforms from each of the 192 beams over a wide variety of pulse lengths and temporal shapes. A computational system, the Laser Performance Operations Model (LPOM) has been developed and deployed during NIF commissioning to automate the laser setup process, and accurately predict laser energtics. For each shot on NIF, the
LPOM determines the characteristics of the injection laser system required to achieve the desired main laser output, provides parameter checking for equipment protection, determines the required diagnostic setup, and supplies post-shot data analysis and reporting.