Acceleration of large size deuterium pellets to high speeds using a small two-stage pneumatic gun

A. Frattolillo, S. Migliori, G. Angelone, M. Capobianchi, C. Dommo, G. Ronci, D.K. Griffin

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The technology of two-stage pneumatic pellet injectors represents by far the most reliable way to perform deep plasma fueling, with pipe gun devices capable of routinely launching small or medium size (up to 4 mm) D2pellets at speeds in excess of 3 km/s, using rather small two-stage guns. It is still an open question, however, if scaling of the pellet size to the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor relevant values (6-8 mm) will or will not require a somewhat proportional increase in the physical size of the two-stage gun. In order to investigate this question, an extensive study was carried out at ENEA Frascati, using numerical simulation codes. It clearly indicated that a "compact" two-stage gun may have the potential to accelerate large size pellets at speeds up to 5 km/s. A low cost experiment was also scheduled. A spare pipe-gun cryostat of the single-shot two-stage pneumatic injector, previously used for high-speed pellet fueling of the Frascati tokamak upgrade, was modified in order to accommodate larger bore (up to 6 mm) launching barrels. In this article, we will mainly discuss the results of numerical simulations. A very early experimental campaign, carried out in 1996, will also be briefly reported, during which intact 6 mm D2pellets were launched at speeds up to 2.5 km/s. © 1999 American Institute of Physics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2355 - 2364
Number of pages10
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Instrumentation

Cite this

Frattolillo, A., Migliori, S., Angelone, G., Capobianchi, M., Dommo, C., Ronci, G., & Griffin, D. K. (1999). Acceleration of large size deuterium pellets to high speeds using a small two-stage pneumatic gun. Review of Scientific Instruments, 70(5), 2355 - 2364.