The Inertial Fusion Technology (IFT) division supports the DOE National Nuclear Security Administration's research in Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) and high-energy-density physics. This initiative is aimed at achieving a safer, more secure, and more effective nuclear deterrent without underground testing by producing thermonuclear burn conditions in the laboratory.
In nuclear fusion, atoms of hydrogen must be heated to temperatures of 100 million degrees Celsius and held at high pressure (or "confined") long enough for a fusion reaction to take place. The sun heats and confines hydrogen with gravity, while magnetic fusion uses strong magnetic fields to confine the hydrogen and heat it with microwaves or other means. ICF uses powerful energy beams, such as lasers, to compress and heat the hydrogen fuel to fusion temperatures, and uses the inertia of the fuel itself to confine it long enough for fusion to occur.
As the largest industrial participant in the field of inertial fusion, the GA IFT division supplies critical components, world-leading diagnostics, and associated equipment to the ICF laboratories and other clients. The IFT team has been providing innovative, multi-disciplinary materials research and process developments in support of science-based stockpile stewardship for more than 25 years.
GA is a world leader in microfabrication, micromachining, microprinting, advanced coatings, aerogels, and related technologies. Using these broad capabilities, the IFT division supplies targets, target systems, and target support services for the DOE and other clients.
ICF experiments require highly precise, ultra-high-speed instruments to record implosion events and related data. GA has pioneered cutting-edge imaging systems for the NIF and other clients.