Radio Frequency tools for Breakthrough Fusion Concepts

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Cambridge, Massachusetts
Project Term:
08/11/2020 - 02/10/2024

Technology Description:

Fusion requires confining plasmas at extraordinarily high temperatures. One of the most promising ways to heat plasmas to these temperatures is with high-power radio-frequency (RF) waves. Beyond providing heating, RF waves can enable control of the radial current profile in a plasma, which can help improve confinement and control or mitigate plasma instabilities. Complex analytic theory and computer simulations are required to design effective and efficient plasma-heating scenarios, which must be tailored for various fusion concepts. MIT’s Capability Team will apply established state-of-the-art theoretical and simulation tools, developed and tested by the fusion research community on more traditional concepts, to accelerate the development of potentially transformative, lower-cost fusion concepts. The computer simulations will use some of the largest supercomputers in the world, and the predictions from these codes will guide these high-risk, high-reward experiments for the best chance of success.

Potential Impact:

Accelerating and lowering the costs of fusion development and eventual deployment will enable fusion energy to contribute to:


Fusion energy will ensure the U.S.’s technological lead and energy security.


Fusion energy will improve our chances of meeting growing global clean-energy demand and realizing cost-effective, net-zero carbon emissions, while minimizing pollution and avoiding long-lived radioactive waste.


As a disruptive technology, fusion energy will likely create new markets, opportunities, and export advantages for the U.S.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Ahmed Diallo
Project Contact:
Mr. John Wright
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
CompX Corporation

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