Magnetic fusion at high energy density requires compression of a magnetized target in a manner that can be repetitively performed. One approach being investigated in these experiments is the radial compression of a FRC target by a cylindrical plasma liner. A circular array consisting of 16 small coaxial plasma sources were placed at each end of a quartz chamber radially near the wall to form the plasma liner. Liner masses of 3 mg have been formed in Xenon and have been accelerated to a velocity of 50 km/s. An FRC was produced in an adjacent chamber and translated inside the plasma liner where theta-pinch coils were employed to drive the plasma liner radially inward compressing the FRC. Close agreement is found between experimental results and 2D MHD numerical calculations. Efficient coupling (~50%) between the compression bank and the plasma liner has been observed.
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The authors would like to acknowledge the assistance of Dr. Richard Milroy in the modifications to the 2D MHD code for the plasma liner simulations.