Production of Neutral Beams from Negative Ion Beam Systems in the USSR

by Nikita Wells

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This report, a sequel to R-2816, [The Development of High-Intensity Negative Ion Sources and Beams in the USSR], examines (1) Soviet research on the formation of intense, high-energy neutral particle beams and the associated investigation of charge exchange and beam stripping, and (2) the deployment in the USSR of high-intensity negative ion sources of the direct-extraction and double-charge-exchange types, beam neutralizers, and neutral beam injectors, as reported in Soviet open-source technical publications. Based on open-source literature, the study finds no overt evidence of a program to develop exoatmospheric particle-beam weapons in the USSR. The author suggests, however, that such a program may exist as a classified effort paralleling the nuclear fusion research described in the literature.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Report series. The report was a product of the RAND Corporation from 1948 to 1993 that represented the principal publication documenting and transmitting RAND's major research findings and final research.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.