The Design and Implementation of the Integrated Timing System to be Used in the National Ignition Facility

Gerald W. Coutts, Jay D. Wiedwald, Noel R. Sewall, Lawrence J. Lagin

Abstract: The National Ignition Facility, or NIF, currently under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, will contain the world’s most powerful laser. By the year 2003 the NIF laser will be a research tool allowing scientists a glimpse into plasma interactions that are equivalent to those found in the center of the sun. Every eight hours the NIF will generate 1.8 MJ of 351-nm light carried by 192 pulsed laser beams and focus it onto a pea-sized target. This will result in a fusion reaction between two isotopes of hydrogen, creating for a few hum+ed picoseconds stellar conditions. Synchronizing the beams and diagnosing the fusion reaction requires generation and delivery of over I,000 precisely timed triggers to a multitude of systems. The NIF Integrated Timing System (ITS) was developed to provide reliable, accurately timed triggers that allow each client system to operate independently during periods of shot preparation and maintenance, yet be coordinated to a few tens of picoseconds during the experiment. The ITS applies technologies developed for fiber communications and Two-Way Time Transfer, and integrates them by way of a computer communications network to achieve distributed control, dynamically configurable coordination and independence among timing channels, and integrated self-diagnostics.
Published in: Proceedings of the 31th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting
December 7 - 9, 1999
Marriott's Laguna Cliffs Resort
Dana Point, California
Pages: 329 - 338
Cite this article: Coutts, Gerald W., Wiedwald, Jay D., Sewall, Noel R., Lagin, Lawrence J., "The Design and Implementation of the Integrated Timing System to be Used in the National Ignition Facility," Proceedings of the 31th Annual Precise Time and Time Interval Systems and Applications Meeting, Dana Point, California, December 1999, pp. 329-338.
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