The largest pulsed power facility in Europe

Designed and built by First Light in 18 months at a capital cost of £3.6m, M3 is one of the largest pulsed power facilities in the world and the largest in Europe. It is the only machine of this type uniquely dedicated to fusion research. Using extreme electromagnetic forces, it is primarily employed to launch projectiles at the hypervelocity required to test our fusion targets.

14 MA

Peak current

1 bn g

Projectile acceleration

20 km/s

Impact speed

M3 Specifications

Machine 3 resides within a 16 x 16 x 5 m enclosure, with additional electromagnetically shielded rooms for ancillary equipment. It features a parallel plate architecture with voltage doubling. The device weighs 40 t, and uses 15 km of cabling, 300 diagnostic probes and 21,000 m2 of thin film insulation. During shot campaigns M3 can be fired once every other day.

  • Rated load voltage 200 kV (2.5 MJ)
  • Typical operating load voltage 140 kV (1.22 MJ)
  • Inductance 12.5 nH
  • Resistance 0.1 mΩ
  • Peak current discharge time < 2 us
  • Vacuum chamber diameter 1.7 m
  • Capacitors 192 x 2.6 uF
  • Ball array spark gap switches 96

M3 Papers

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