9 June 2011 Can proton radiography be used to image imploding target in ICF experiments?
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Generation of high intensity and well collimated multi energetic proton beams from laser-matter interaction extend the possibility to use protons as a diagnostic to image imploding target in Inertial Confinement Fusion experiments. An experiment was done at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (Vulcan Laser Petawatt laser) to study fast electron propagation in cylindrically compressed targets, a subject of interest for fast ignition. This was performed in the framework of the experimental road map of HiPER (the European High Power laser Energy Research facility Project). In the experiment, protons accelerated by a ps-laser pulse were used to radiograph a 220 m diameter cylinder (20 m wall, filled with low density foam), imploded with 200 J of green laser light in 4 symmetrically incident beams of pulse length 1 ns. Point projection proton backlighting was used to get the compression history and the stagnation time. Detailed comparison with 2D numerical hydro simulations has been done using a Monte Carlo code adapted to describe multiple scattering and plasma effects and with those from hard X-ray radiography. These analysis shows that due to the very large mass densities reached during implosion processes, protons traveling through the target undergo a very large number of collisions which deviate protons from their original trajectory reducing proton radiography resolution. Here we present a simple analytical model to study the proton radiography diagnostic performance as a function of the main experimental parameters such as proton beam energy and target areal density. This approach leads to define two different criteria for PR resolution (called "strong" and "weak" condition) describing different experimental conditions. Finally numerical simulations using both hydrodynamic and Monte Carlo codes are presented to validate analytical predictions.
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L. Volpe, D. Batani, B. Vauzour, Ph. Nicolai, J. J. Santos, F. Dorchies, C. Fourment, S. Hulin, C. Regan, F. Perez, S. Baton, M. Koenig, K. Lancaster, M. Galimberti, R. Heathcote, M. Tolley, Ch. Spindloe, P. Koester, L. Labate, L. A. Gizzi, C. Benedetti, A. Sgattoni, M. Richetta, "Can proton radiography be used to image imploding target in ICF experiments?", Proc. SPIE 8080, Diode-Pumped High Energy and High Power Lasers; ELI: Ultrarelativistic Laser-Matter Interactions and Petawatt Photonics; and HiPER: the European Pathway to Laser Energy, 80802F (9 June 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.892315; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.892315

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