Daniel Brian Sinars

Pulsed power science and applications on Sandia's Z Machine

Daniel Brian Sinars

Sandia National Laboratories

Friday, April 19, 2019



PSFC Seminars

Abstract: Sandia’s 26 MA, 20 MJ “Z Machine” is presently the world’s largest fast pulsed power machine, delivering up to 80 TW of electrical power in a 100-ns pulse to mm- to cm-scale targets and creating drive pressures of order 100 million times atmospheric pressure. This drive pressure can be used to create high energy density conditions (>1 Mbar pressure) in matter for dynamic materials science or inertial confinement fusion (ICF) research, or to create intense sources of x rays and/or neutrons for applied physics research. This talk will highlight ongoing research on Z in magneto-inertial fusion, dynamic materials, and radiation science, as well as work being done by academic partners as part of our Z Fundamental Science Program. Though the national ICF program continues to pursue ignition on the National Ignition Facility (~1 MJ yields), its long-term mission will require >100 MJ yields. Pulsed power is likely our nation’s best option for achieving such yields, and this talk will also discuss new pulsed power architectures being considered for a larger-scale driver that could couple ~10 MJ to a fusion target, as well as some of the plasma physics challenges associated with this that we want to address over the next decade.

Bio: Dr. Daniel Sinars is the Director for the Pulsed Power Sciences Center, which is best known for conducting research on the world’s most powerful pulsed power machine, the 26 MA, 80-TW, 22 MJ “Z” facility. The Z facility is used for a wide range of high energy density physics science, the study of matter and radiation at extreme pressures (>1 million times atmospheric pressure). Daniel is also the Sandia Executive for the Inertial Confinement Fusion and Science programs of the National Nuclear Security Administration. The Center manages a combined annual budget of >$100M and has over 220 employees. The Center also operates several additional facilities, including the multi-kJ, 2-TW Z-Beamlet laser facility adjacent to Z, the STAR gas gun facilities, and a variety of smaller pulsed power machines.

Daniel joined Sandia in 2001 after receiving a PhD in Applied Physics from Cornell University, and a B.S. in Engineering Physics from the University of Oklahoma in 1996. He has made extensive contributions to inertial confinement fusion, high energy density science, and z-pinch physics research, with over 110 refereed journal publications in these fields (24 as first author). Daniel was the principal experimenter for over 160 experiments on the Sandia "Z" pulsed power facility and has also led many additional experiments on the Z-Beamlet laser and the SATURN pulsed power facility. Daniel led the development of several x-ray and spectroscopy diagnostics for the Z facility, including monochromatic x-ray backlighting, which has been the primary radiographic technique for the facility. Daniel’s contributions were recognized in 2007 with an IEEE Nuclear and Plasma Sciences Society Early Achievement Award, and in 2011 with both a Department of Energy Early Career Research Program Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). He was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society in September 2015. In 2016, Daniel led a tri-laboratory study on “Pulsed Power Science and Technology: A strategic outlook for the National Nuclear Security Administration” in response to a request from the NNSA.