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Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test Facility

Dual Axis Radiographic Hydrodynamic Test (DARHT) Facility
Los Alamos National Laboratory

An integral part of the national hydrotest program, the DARHT is the world's most powerful x-ray machine.  DARHT consists of two electron accelerators oriented at right angles to one another.  Each accelerator creates a powerful electron beam that is focused onto a metal target which converts the kinetic energy of the electron beam into high energy x or gamma-rays.  The x-ray dose from one DARHT accelerator is the equivalent of 100,000 chest x-rays.

DARHT is used to image a full-scale non-nuclear weapon mockup as it implodes.  A special dual-axis containment system is used in all hydrotests conducted at DARHT to eliminate release of any potentially hazardous material to the environment.  The multiple x-ray pulses generated (one from Axis I and four from Axis II) produce multiple-view radiographic images of the imploding test object, in which materials are moving at 10,000+ miles per hour.



Banner photo: DARHT's Accelerators help create the x-rays at DARHT, the world's most advanced radiography facility.