The Sandia Z Machine
An overview of the world’s most powerful pulsed power facility
The Z Machine at Sandia National Laboratories is the world’s most powerful pulsed power facility. It uses high magnetic fields associated with high electrical currents (up to 28 MA) to produce high temperatures (~10s of millions of degrees), high pressures (~100s of Megabars), and powerful x-rays (> 300 TW) for conducting research in High Energy Density science (HED), Radiation Effects Science (RES) and Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF). To enable such activities, the Z Machine is continually being improved both from an operational perspective and from a capability perspective. These improvements include greater use of web-based applications for configuration and information management, development and incorporation of engineered safety systems, pulsed power system upgrades, increased B-field capabilities, increased ZBL laser output, and novel experimental platforms coupled to the development and fielding of new optical, x-ray and neutron diagnostics. An overview of present Z Machine capabilities will be given along with planned upgrades and advances in the context of current scientific and programmatic drivers.
Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration under contract DE-AC04-94AL85000.