First Light Fusion (FLF) is a UK-based start-up company with strong links to academia working towards commercialised fusion energy. Our approach to ICF utilises strong shocks produced by hyper-velocity impactors, electromagnetically launched using M3; FLF’s recently-commissioned MJ-class, high-efficiency pulse power machine. The development and validation of a predictive modelling capability with which we can undertake target design and optimisation studies and understand the basic physics of launch, impact and fusion is made challenging due to the wide range of states of matter and processes that occur during M3 experiments. In addition to robust, high-fidelity shock physics and resistive magnetohydrodynamics codes, a versatile, numerically inexpensive and accurate capability is required for the equation of state (EoS) and microphysics processes such as the electrical and thermal conductivities of complex materials.

In this talk we will present an overview of FLF’s current numerical physics capabilities, with particular emphasis on the bespoke, in-house tools that have been developed, and the active research we are presently undertaking to improve the transport and EoS models to which we have access. Comparisons to experimental data covering a broad range of our activities are shown. We also present recent results from our first systematic in-silico sensitivity analysis exercise for quantitatively assessing and prioritising future work on the various aspects of our code suite. Integrated simulations of several simplified implosion geometries are used to ascertain the relative impact on the fusion yield due to uncertainties in the some of the key schemes and models, and these results are used to support and guide our strategy towards a fully predictive modelling capability.


D. A. Chapman, N. Chaturvedi, J. P. Chittenden, A. J. Crilly, T. Edwards, A. R. Fraser, N. Hawker, J. Herring, N.-P. L. Niasse, J. D. Pecover, M. P. Read, D. H. Vassilev, A. Venskus, N. Joiner




11th International Conference on Inertial Fusion Sciences and Applications