Z-Pinch X-ray Source Simulations

Tom Mehlhorn, Sandia National Laboratories*, Albuquerque, NM

DCOMPThree dimensional radiation magneto-hydrodynamic (rad-MHD) simulations are required to understand the radiation production scaling of wire array z-pinches imploded by pulsed power drivers. Sandia is developing a rad-MHD version of ALEGRA, an arbitrary Lagrangian-Eulerian material dynamics code, to perform such simulations on various platforms, including the ASCI Red Machine. Experimentally, Sandia has generated z-pinch powers up to 280 TW utilizing tungsten wire arrays on the Z Machine. Increasing the number of wires in the array appears to decrease the perturbation seed to the magnetic Rayleigh-Taylor (MRT) instability and decrease the FWHM of the radiation pulse. The scaling of radiation pulse width with initial perturbation amplitude has been studied primarily with 2-D simulations. We report on the first massively parallel simulations of the evolution of the MRT instability in three dimensions.

* Sandia is a multiprogram laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a Lockheed Martin Company, for the United States Department of Energy under Contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.