3.1.3. Experiment Naming

When an experiment is originally defined, several attributes are defined that identify the experiment throughout its lifecycle. These attributes follow a standard convention that allows both the program and the facility to efficiently prepare, execute and status the specific experiment, as well as allowing for the collection of experiments on NIF. These key attributes include:

Program: Identifies the program that is responsible for the experiment. Current programs are listed below. New Programs are created by the NIF Director.

  • I—Inertial Confinement Fusion (ICF) Program. Prior to FY13, experiments within this program were identified as “NIC.” 
  • H—High-Energy-Density (HED) Program
  • D—Discovery Science (DS) Program. Prior to FY16 these were identified as “Fundamental Science.”
  • N—National Security Applications (NSA)
  • Fa—Includes shots conducted by the facility to support laser optimization, diagnostic calibration, new capability commissioning, etc.

Campaign: Each program defines a series of shots with a unifying purpose, such as understanding an aspect of physics or supporting a given sponsor. These are typically mid-term to long-term in nature. New campaigns are established annually by the leaders of the programs. Examples include HED’s Radiation Transport campaign or NSA’s Department of Defense (DOD) campaign. New campaigns require Program Manager approval.

Sub-campaign: Each program further defines focus areas within their campaigns to help manage the work. Examples include the Pleiades and Opacity experiments within the HED Radiation Transport campaign and Source Development and Sample Exposure within the NSA DOD Campaign. Sub-campaigns tend to be mid- to short-term in nature. New sub-campaigns require Program Manager approval.

Platform: A platform names a collection of diagnostics and target types. New platform names may be added with NIF User Office manager concurrence. To avoid an explosion of platform names, users are requested to consult the User Office when requesting a new platform name.

“FLIP_Id”: When an experiment is defined, it is given a unique “FLIP_Id” for identification throughout the lifecycle. The name is derived from abbreviation of the attributes above with an Optional Parameter to help in experiment description. Often the optional parameter is the sub-campaign. All FLIP_Ids end with an alias that consists of a three-letter sequence that facilitates auto-incrementing: “AAA,” “BBB,” “CCC,” etc. The alias allows for multiple experiments to be planned having the same campaign, sub-campaign, and platform identifiers. There is currently a 28-character limit on the FLIP_Id.

For example, consider the experiment sponsored by the HED program to develop a capsule backlighter platform for the Radiation Transport campaign. The optional parameter was defined by concatenating abbreviations for the Opacity sub-campaign and the capsule backlighter. Table 3-4 shows the FLIP_Id for this example and how it was constructed.

Table 3-4. Illustration of the parameters comprising the FLIP_Id.

Table 3-4