LLNL awards contracts for the petawatt laser system for the ELI Beamlines facility

Feb. 11, 2014
Livermore, CA--Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has awarded subcontracts to Femtolasers Produktions and Lasertel for the HAPLS, being built for the European (ELI Beamlines science facility in the Czech Republic.

Livermore, CA--Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) has awarded two subcontracts for the High Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS), being built for the European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) Beamlines science facility in the Czech Republic. The contracts were awarded to Femtolasers Produktions (Vienna, Austria) and Lasertel (Tucson, AZ).

The HAPLS will deliver peak powers greater than one petawatt at a repetition rate of 10 Hz, with pulses less than 30 fs, and require a laser front-end source to generate the ultrafast pulse at high stability with ultra-low noise. The Femtolasers' front-end system relies on double-chirped pulse amplification, enabling a high signal-to-noise ratio in the output pulses, which will seed the HAPLS.

Related article: LLNL wins $45M to build ELI laser

The front-end consists of an ultrashort pulse seed oscillator, a first stage multipass amplifier, a temporal pulse cleaning stage based on cross-wave polarization, a stretcher and pulse width controller system from LLNL, a spectral amplitude and phase shaper, and a booster amplification stage. It is due to be delivered to LLNL by August to provide performance data.

The ELI Beamlines facility represents an investment of approximately $350 million from the European Union and Czech Republic. It forms part of the pan-European ELI project, and is being designed to advance the state-of-the-art for high power lasers, allowing international scientific research in medical imaging, particle acceleration, biophysics, chemistry, and quantum physics.

Related article: The Extreme Light Infrastructure: The ELI aims to break down the vacuum

In a related announcement, LLNL has awarded a contract for approximately $5 million to Lasertel to develop and deliver megawatt-class laser diode pump modules that combine semiconductor laser technology with novel micro-optics. The pump modules will be developed and delivered to LLNL over a 12-month period for integration into the HAPLS.

About the Author

Conard Holton | Editor at Large

Conard Holton has 25 years of science and technology editing and writing experience. He was formerly a staff member and consultant for government agencies such as the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and the International Atomic Energy Agency, and engineering companies such as Bechtel. He joined Laser Focus World in 1997 as senior editor, becoming editor in chief of WDM Solutions, which he founded in 1999. In 2003 he joined Vision Systems Design as editor in chief, while continuing as contributing editor at Laser Focus World. Conard became editor in chief of Laser Focus World in August 2011, a role in which he served through August 2018. He then served as Editor at Large for Laser Focus World and Co-Chair of the Lasers & Photonics Marketplace Seminar from August 2018 through January 2022. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania, with additional studies at the Colorado School of Mines and Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University.

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