Document describing the Upgraded LAPD is yours for the clicking!

Previous LAPD Capabilities
LAPD Upgrade
Plasma Length 10 meters
Plasma Length 16.5 meters
Magnetic Field 2.0 kiloGauss, 68 magnets
Magnetic Field 4.0 kiloGauss

68 magnets + 22 new

Electrical Power available : 750 KW
Electrical Power available : 4.5 MW
Source 1 cathode (50 cm diameter)
Source 2 cathodes (75 cm dia.)
External Heating: None
External Heating: Ion Cyclotron
Data Acquisition: 8 channels @ 2GHz,8 channels @ 200 MHz
Data Acquisition: 20 channels @ 2GHz, additional lower frequency channels
Cooling Water: 1 Megawatt
Cooling water: 4.5+ Megawatt
Laser Clean Room: 11 feet X 13 feet,(space for 2 lasers)
Laser Clean Room: 20 feet X 15 feet,(space for 4 lasers )
Experimental bay: 70 feet X 24 feet, ceiling height 8.5 feet, no crane
Experimental Bay: 100 feet X 30 feet, ceiling height 15 feet,overhead crane

Pictures of the LAPD Upgrade Construction

Click on them for a larger jpeg image

empty lab Aug 1998
Empty Lab space in August 1998. Shown are a set of Tokomak magnets (donated by Bob Taylor and originally from Princeton) which will supplement our existing 68 coils.
chambers at Dan's machine shop

End chamber which will hold a cathode at Dan's Machine Shop, Compton California. Oct 1998 Holes for flanges are being bored

after bead blasting
Chambers after being "bead blasted" at National Sandblasting" in Los Angeles
Chambers being loaded on a truck for the drive to Westwood
the strb building
The brand new STRB (Science and Tecnology Reserch) building at UCLA.

The LAPD upgrade dwells in a radiation-and earthquake proof basement.

Walter Gekelman relaxing
Walter Gekelman Relaxing after the vacuum chambers have been brought to the basement lab
Pat Pribyl
Pat Pribyl adjusts an end flange before welding
Water Pipes instllalled to cool the magnets ( 5 inch diameter up to 300 psi) and power supplies.
Installation of 4 MW substation for Magnet Power Supplies
Bringing down the 28,000 lb main section of the substation
Riggers from Dunkel Brothers 

The best in LA and

who had 0.25" clearance at the top of whilst moving in the substation


moving in the power supplies

Power supplies being lowered 

Down the Hole

Dragging in the substation with a forklift which was lowered down for the occasion
Dave Dunkel and Son 

making money and having fun

All ten magnet supplies 

( 4 Megawatt DC)

Lined up and waiting for the juice

Janurary 1999

Powersupplies designed and manufactured by

dynapower logo/link


PO box 9210 S. Burlington, Vermont




Christel Smith is adding color to the walls.

April 2000

Dave Leneman and Jim Maggs admire the nearly completed vacuum system
Eugen Dietl "the best vacuum welder in LA"

450 ports welded on the machine, NO LEAKS

Weld Labs

PO Box 629 Santa Monica CA 90406

(310) 674-8886

The copper bussbars are beginning to be put up.

March 2000

Marvin Drandel (the LAPD technical staff) stares at the bussbars.

When finished, there will be 66,000 pounds of them.

Party to Celebrate completion of the vacuum system (December 1999)

Base pressure 3X10-7 TORR !!! without discharge cleaning or heating

chinching bussbars

In the summer of 2000 many a happy day was spent attaching the bussbars to the 5 foot thick walls

Bussbars manufactured by

dynapower logo/link

September 200
September 2000. The bussbars are nearly finished and a 5" water line has been installed for magnet cooling
power supplies and connectors
September 2000. The power supplies in the processes of being connected to the Copper bussbars

Oct 2000 machine

October 2000 . Plumbing to the machine is nearly complete. The bussbars which connect the power on the walls have been extended to a point just over the machine. Supports have been put in the ceiling and support poles are AJ'd into the floor.
October 2000. David Leneman leans on the bussbar support pole. Shown are some of the 450 access ports.
cathode heater
October 2000. The cathode heater (96 cm in diameter) in vacuum and at 500 degrees C. The cathode will be placed in front of it. A compelet paper describing its very new design and operation will appear in about a year in the Review of Scientific Instruments

hot cathode

December 2000 1 meter diameter cathode at 600C, The cathode is very uniform in temperature (1 degree difference across its surface) thanks to an intricate reflector and heat shield design by David Leneman after_shutdown.JPG

LAPD is shut down

On December 10 2000 at 7:49 PM The LAPD was shut down after 11 years of operation. It will re-emerge as the LAPD UPGRADE THIS SPRING. The last cathode worked continuously for 4 months or 8,162,791 shots. During the last 4 months the following experiments were done:

a) LIF study of particle motion in intense Alfven waves

b) Field line resonances

c) Propagation of shear waves in density gradients

d) Plasma edge turbulence

e) Plasma flows in density gradients

d) Laser target experiments which generated Alfven waves

On December 20-21 The Dunkel Bros. Riggers extrodinare came to move the 68 magnets (1000 lbs each) , carts, and other assorted equipment from the LAPD lab to the science and technology building across the street. To do this they had to use a forklift to put a forklift onto the building loading dock. It was then driven into the lab.

On the Job Dave, Mark, Larry, Sal, Jo Jo, Joel, Steve and Ken

Dave removes vacuum station

..............................Dave Dunkel removes the vacuum station at the end of the device and gets the ball rolling

Mark drive the forklift and lifts a chamber

......Mark gets one of the vacuum chambers out using delicate forklift techniques

Mark and Jo Jo

Mark and Jo Jo steady things

chamber on forks

One of the vacuum chambers on the forklift

magnets without chamber

Magnets without a chamber or a plasma to confine

room without chambers


after done, workers at the STRB

After the move:: Mark, Steve, Larry, Sal and Walter

room full of magnets

December 21

There was a roomful of magnets

just waiting to be tosssed (with precision) onto the machine

80 percent in place

February 21


80% of the magnets have been painstakingly

placed and aligned on the new chamber

The Finished LAPD Device Quality research Plasma is attained in October 2001
A Neon Plasma (11 Kiloamp discharge) 18 meters long, viewed end-on

On Nov 1, 2001 UCLA sponsored a tour of its plasma physics program for the American Physical Society Plasma Physics Division. Approximately 150 scientists visited the LAPD upgrade device. The machine is now the core of a user facilty sponsored by NSF/DOE and ONR.