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WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $3 million in planned funding for research on the measurement and monitoring of hot plasmas as part of the Department’s support for fusion energy sciences.

The research, technically known as “plasma diagnostics,” will focus on the development of new detection technologies and other approaches and techniques to measure and monitor the behavior of plasmas, including the plasmas found in fusion energy reactors, the low-temperature plasmas widely used in industry and medicine, and high energy density plasmas produced in laboratories.

“Historically the development of advanced plasma diagnostics has been an important key to exploring and understanding the detailed behavior of hot fusion plasmas,” said James Van Dam, DOE Associate Director of Fusion Energy Sciences. “The U.S. program has been an international leader in their development, and this effort will help sustain that leadership.”

The current funding announcement will be accepting applications in two different categories: “High-Risk High-Reward” research aimed at developing truly novel and untested approaches and “Complex Development” research aimed at fabrication and testing of actual prototypes.

The research may include efforts specifically aimed at developing diagnostics for the two largest fusion energy facilities in the United States, the DIII-D National Fusion Facility operated by General Atomics in San Diego, CA, and the NSTX-U Facility at DOE’s Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory in Princeton, NJ, currently under repair and expected to be operational in 2021.

Awards are to be made based on peer review and are expected to be for a period of two to three years. Total funding to be available over three years is expected to be $3 million, with outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations.

The DOE Funding Opportunity Announcement titled, “Measurement Innovations for Fusion Energy and Plasmas,” along with a corresponding call for DOE National Laboratories, is to be found on the funding opportunities page of the Office of Fusion Energy Sciences within the Department’s Office of Science.