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Development and characterization of a high yield transportable pulsed neutron source with efficient and compact pulsed power system
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The results of characterization experiments carried out on a newly developed dense plasma focus
device based intense pulsed neutron source with efficient and compact pulsed power system are reported. Its high current sealed pseudospark switch based low inductance
capacitor bank with maximum stored energy of ∼10 kJ is segregated into four modules of ∼2.5 kJ each and it cumulatively delivers peak current in the range of 400 kA–600 kA (corresponding to charging voltage range of 14 kV–18 kV) in a quarter time period of ∼2 μs. The neutron yield performance of this device has been optimized by discretely varying deuterium filling gas pressure in the range of 6 mbar–11 mbar at ∼17 kV/550 kA discharge. At ∼7 kJ/8.5 mbar operation, the average neutron yield has been measured to be in the order of ∼4 × 109 neutrons/pulse which is the highest ever reported neutron yield from a plasma focus
device with the same stored energy. The average forward to radial anisotropy in neutron yield is found to be ∼2. The entire system is contained on a moveable trolley having dimensions 1.5 m × 1 m × 0.7 m and its operation and control (up to the distance of 25 m) are facilitated through optically isolated handheld remote console. The overall compactness of this system provides minimum proximity to small as well as large samples for irradiation. The major intended application objective of this high neutron yield dense plasma focus
device development is to explore the feasibility of active neutron interrogation experiments by utilization of intense pulsed neutron sources.
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