Goddard Engineering and Technology Directorate (ETD) Calendar


The ETD Events Calendar list upcoming engineering seminars, colloquiums, conferences, town halls and other events of interest to the ETD engineering community. Explore a world of knowledge and innovation though a curated lineup of insightful and engaging events. This information supports a journey of discovery, where experts and enthusiasts converge to share ideas, explore cutting-edge technologies and foster a community of collaboration and learning.



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Plasma Fusion Research

December 12, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm


ABSTRACTThe centrifugal mirror is a linear magnetic confinement concept with a promising path towards commercial fusion energy because of its stability, engineering simplicity, and expected affordability with respect to other fusion concepts. A radial electric field is applied in a mirror configuration, generating azimuthal rotation that in turn creates velocity shear that stabilizes the plasma and provides viscous heating. The Centrifugal Mirror Fusion Experiment, CMFX, at the University of Maryland, is the first centrifugal mirror experiment with superconducting coils and aims to demonstrate steady supersonic plasma rotation with Te = Ti = 0.5 keV and particle densities with at least n=10^18 – 10^19/m^3. A previous experiment, the Maryland Centrifugal Experiment [R. F. Ellis et. al. Phys. Plasmas 12, 055704 (2005)], demonstrated the basic principle of the centrifugal mirror with plasma temperatures Te = Ti ~ 0.1 keV. The CMFX builds on these results but extends the parameter space to much higher electric fields, stronger and steady magnetic fields, and longer plasma duration, all of which are imperative for enabling a path to commercial fusion energy with the centrifugal mirror. The basic physics models, the experimental hardware, results from first plasmas, as well as projections on the engineering requirements and costs for a commercial reactor scenario, will be presented in this talk.

Acknowledgements: Work supported by the ARPA-E Grant No. DE-AR0001270. Summer students supported by the Maryland Space Grant Consortium, the University of Maryland, College Park, and UMBC. We thank the Air Force Research Laboratory, Dahlgren Naval Support Facility, Picatinny Arsenal, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Boeing for equipment donations.

SPEAKER Carlos A. Romero-Talamás received his B.S. in Engineering Physics from the Instituto Technológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, México in 1995; a Master of Space Studies from the International Space University, Strasbourg, France in 1998; a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Applied Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 2005. He worked as a postdoctoral scholar on the Sustained Spheromak Physics Experiment (SSPX) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory until 2008. That year he joined the University of Maryland’s Institute for Research in Applied Physics as a Research Scientist working on experimental plasma physics, including high-temperature plasma confinement on the Maryland Centrifugal Experiment (MCX), and on atmospheric plasmas created by lasers and terahertz electromagnetic waves. Since 2013 he has been at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) where he is an associate professor and the Graduate Program director in the department of Mechanical Engineering. In 2014 he received the DARPA Young Faculty Award for Alternate Fusion Concepts, and in 2015 received the University System of Maryland’s PROMISE AGEP Outstanding Faculty Mentor award. Romero-Talamás is currently the PI of several projects, including the Centrifugal Mirror Fusion Experiment, supported by ARPA-E as part of the BETHE program to advance the performance of lower-cost fusion energy concepts. His research interests also include dusty plasmas, plasma diagnostics, magnetic self-organization, and plasma-facing components for engineering applications.


December 12, 2022
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category: