The genesis of this design as described to me is a single 980 nm Pump Diode which is fiber-optically split into 192 fiber-optical 'beam lines' using a Fiber Bragg Grating. The 'laser amplifiers' then amplifies this pulse more than 1 million times which is propagated to the target chamber.
The design pulls power from a main grid into a 'power conditioning system', which is analogous to a giant battery which discharges this power into 10,000 'flash lamps', each around seven feet high which is opticalised into 'laser glass' which absorbs these photons and converts them into ultraviolet laser energy which is then transferred through the system to the target chamber which converts the ultraviolet photons into x-ray photons and fires onto the target, which is a tiny spherical pellet containing hydrogen isotopes, which produces a nuclear fusion reaction.
For the nanosecond that the NIF fires, it discharges more than 1000 times the energy that the entire Earth is using in that same nanosecond.
The amount of energy required to charge this device is claimed to be only US$5.
The reactor is scheduled to become operational in 2008.
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California is a 192-beam, 1.8 Megajoule, 500 terawatt, 351 nm laser system currently undergoing commissioning of its first laser beams. When completed in 2008, NIF will be the world's largest laser facility for inertial confinement fusion, high-energy-density physics, and basic science studies.
NIF reactor design:
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