We have been selected by the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science for a 2024 Phase I Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Grant! The title of our project is “High-Efficiency RF Amplifiers with Plasma Accommodation for Fusion Plasma Heating”.
The Fiscal Year 2024 Awards list can be viewed here. There you can find a concise summary of our proposed project:
“Radio frequency systems used to heat plasmas in fusion power plants will need to be highly efficient and adaptable to changes in the plasma over time. This proposal is for the scaling of an innovative radiofrequency amplifier which produces less heat waste and can follow the changes in the plasma.”
This work leverages our prior experience with and development of high-efficiency radiofrequency amplifiers under our ARPA-E GAMOW contract. The scaling towards application in a plasma fusion reactor would require power-combining of 10’s-100’s of RF boards. The RF amplifiers utilize a Reactance Steering Network (RSN) developed by our collaborators at Princeton University to handle variations in the impedance of a load, which in our case is a plasma. Experiment testing and simulation will be performed to assess the power-combining of multiple RSNs so that we can scale up to high-power operation on the scale of 0.1 – 1 MegaWatts, that is, 100,000-1,000,000 Watts!