Experimental and theoretical research in pulsed power physics is performed to advance technology in the areas of pulsed power relevant to ONR, DoD, DTRA, and DoE applications. The research program is concerned with the development of high energy pulsed power systems employing capacitive and inductive energy storage, and the production and application of pulsed plasmas and intense high-power, charged particle beams. It provides the technological basis for high-energy-density plasma experiments, high-power switching, advanced radiation sources, and it advances applications of this technology to areas such as nuclear weapon effects simulation, directed energy weapons, electromagnetic launchers, and active detection of nuclear materials. The research encompasses three major activities:
Theory and Analysis — Providing theoretical and numerical support and guidance for the experimental groups and for sponsoring agencies;
Plasma and Beam Experiments — Performing experiments using the pulsed power generators for applications involving pulsed plasmas and/or intense particle beams. The experimental facilities include a variety of pulsed power sources to generate electron and ion beams, powerful discharges and various types of radiation;
Electromagnetic Launcher and Advanced Systems — Developing of advanced electromagnetic launch systems for direct-fire support and other Navy applications, as well as compact, high-power pulsed systems that integrate vacuum inductive storage, plasma opening switch techniques, and loads, such as bremsstrahlung x-ray diodes and plasma radiation sources.