2021.06.10 | Optocomb rangefinders for nuclear fusion reactors

Did you know that XTIA’s core technology, the optical frequency comb, is not only a game changer for the manufacturing industry? It also opens new opportunities in a wide range of fields such as biology, chemistry, astronomy, optical communications and more. The Optocomb rangefinders by XTIA can even contribute to the development of nuclear fusion technology, thanks to their high-speed 500kHz sampling rate and their high resolution. Case and point in this fascinating paper published in Fusion Engineering and Design (2015). In this work, Kanemura et al. at the Japan Atomic Energy Agency provide insight into the properties of the liquid lithium wall that is a key component of future nuclear fusion reactors. Indeed, the liquid metal wall is not only a vector for the transfer of the energy generated by the fusion reaction, but it also protects the outer components of the reactor and is essential for the generation of the reactor fuel through tritium breeding. Because the lithium is flowing at a high speed, a dedicated control system is necessary to monitor the liquid wall. The 500kHz-high sampling rate of Optocomb rangefinders was instrumental in probing the wall in Kanemura’s experiment, which suggests that the Optocomb technology may be able to boost the groundbreaking nuclear fusion technology.

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