Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Mechanical Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


College of Engineering


Lauren Cooper

Advisor Department

Mechanical Engineering

Advisor College

College of Engineering


The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is home to the world’s most energetic laser. The facility is one of the leading centers in inertial confinement fusion (ICF) experiments to research and understand sustainable fusion energy. To fully document and understand the physics occurring during experiments, precise diagnostics are used for a wide range of purposes. One diagnostic, the crystal backlighter imager (CBI), allows for X-ray imaging of the target at late stages of its implosion.

The aim of this project was to increase the current capabilities of the CBI diagnostic with the addition of a second crystal. This thesis focuses on the design development of the 5 degrees of freedom precision stages used to align each of the crystals. The motivations for the addition of a second crystal are covered in the introduction. A ray tracing model was generated to explore the required range of travel for both crystals, as well as explore potential effects of transitioning to a two-crystal system. The requirements of the precision stage are outlined based on the flaws of the current stage and areas with desired improvements. A dynamic analysis was performed on modified supporting hardware for CBI, to determine areas of interest in redesigning components for the two-crystal system. Further research is performed on commercial and literature methods used to design precision optomechanical stages. Finally, the design development is documented outlining the considered options, modifications to the existing system, and the proposed design solution. A design is proposed that meets the project requirements set at the beginning of design development.