Product News: Specialised Imaging’s SIM Camera Assists in Development of Fusion Energy Power Generator

06 Sep 2013

Specialised Imaging reports on how its SIM-D8 ultra high-speed framing camera is being used by Sorlox Corporation (Irvine, CA, USA) to look at the behavior of plasma generated by a compact Magnetized Target Fusion (MTF) system.

Sorlox Corporation is a pioneer in the development of compact pulsed-plasma devices for use as highly efficient, environmentally friendly power production or for medical isotope production. Using Deuterium as its fuel source - the Sorlox Nautilus Compressor employs an electric field to generate a hot plasma. Using a magnetic field, the Nautilus system compresses the plasma to a high energy state, facilitating fusion and releasing heat that can be used for power generation.

Capable of capturing up to 32 images at 1 billion frames per second - Specialised Imaging SIM ultra high-speed framing cameras are able to capture visual data from even the most fleeting of phenomena. Unique technology enables SIM ultra high-speed framing cameras to simultaneously capture images on different selected channels. Unlike traditional ultra fast framing cameras the optical design of SIM cameras provide the choice of up to 16 separate optical channels without comprising performance or image qualityWai Chan, Managing Director of Specialised Imaging commented 'Specialised Imaging helped design the optics and diagnostic view ports on the Sorlox Nautilus Compressor, so that it readily integrates with both high-speed framing and streak cameras. Using a Specialised Imaging SIM-D8 camera** - Sorlox was able to record ultra-fast two-dimensional images to help characterize the behaviour of plasma generated by their Nautilus Compressor system'. He added `As SIM cameras incorporate a supplementary optical port that can deliver 50% of the primary image to a secondary instrument – Sorlox has the opportunity in the future to integrate a streak camera, enabling them to obtain simultaneous streak and framing data, for more powerful analyses of very fast pulsed plasma events’.

According to Dr. Brent Freeze, CTO of Sorlox, ‘The Mark I Nautilus core was a prototype for demonstrating the Sorlox process in steps, as well as showing that it was possible to integrate the requisite instruments in such a compact system. The Mark I used hydrogen gas, which was ionized into a
plasma that emitted primarily visible and ultraviolet light when imaged by the framing camera via phosphor screen filters.

The Mark II Nautilus core is intended for medical and scientific research, using deuterium. It is compatible with Specialised Imaging cameras, including the newer SIM16 and SIM32 products. We encourage use of these framing cameras for precision-timed imaging of the light coming from the electrons in the plasma. With the proper filters and optics, the framing camera is a very useful diagnostic for imaging the location and structure of the plasma at discrete points in time.

Sorlox is a small engineering company located in Irvine, California. The Mark I customer was the US DoD and Sorlox is pursuing both government and commercial clients for the Mark II.

** The SIM-D8 camera was on loan to Sorlox from the US Army Research Laboratory (ARL)