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CEO Laser installs Joule Class Laser at LLNL

Supplier: LightOptronics Aust.
12 February, 2015

Northrop Grumman Cutting Edge Optronics (CEO) today announced the successful installation and commissioning of their new Joule class Gigashot-HE™ Diode Pumped Solid State (DPSS) Laser System at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL).

The laser will be used as a key component of LLNL's High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS). The HAPLS laser system is destined for the European Union's Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) Beamlines high-intensity laser science facility currently under construction in the Czech Republic.

The injection seeded, diode pumped Gigashot-HE laser outputs 2 J of 532 nm energy in each sub-10 ns pulse at 10 Hz with a near field flat top beam profile, making it an ideal pump source for one of HAPLS high energy Ti:Sapphire amplifier stages.

HAPLS is designed to generate 30 J pulses in less than 30 fs each, delivering a peak power greater than 1 Petawatt at a repetition rate of 10 Hz. This very high repetition rate is a major advancement over current Petawatt system technologies, which can only fire a maximum of once per second.

Generation of high-brightness X-rays and acceleration of charged particles are just a few examples of the many exciting uses of its ultrashort, high energy pulses. HAPLS will enable new science discoveries in physics, chemistry, biochemistry, and medicine at the ELI Beamlines facility.

ELI Beamlines will ultimately be a users' facility, where the variety and number of planned experiments will require fully-automated, reliable, and low maintenance laser operation, which is made possible through the HAPLS' use of all diode pumped laser technology.

"HAPLS relies on a fully diode pumped beamline to enable Petawatt pulses with 10 Hz repetition rate, that ensures robustness, low maintenance and high pulse to pulse stability," says Constantin Haefner, HAPLS Program Director, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

The Gigashot-HE consists of four PowerPULSETM laser modules; one oscillator, one pre-amplifier, and two power amplifiers, utilising radially side pumped Nd:YAG rods ranging in diameter from 3mm to 18mm. Each PowerPULSE laser module is pulse-pumped by laser diode arrays manufactured on-site at CEO's St Charles, Mo. facility.

The arrays have an expected lifetime in excess of 10 billion shots, which equates to more than 30 years of continuous operation at 10 Hz. HAPLS' incorporation of the DPSS Gigashot-HE 2 J green pump laser, with its rock-solid stability, robustness and long-lived pump laser diodes, is consistent with the ELI Beamlines goals of hands-off and energy efficient laser operation.