A joule-class diode pumped solid state laser system has been installed at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to be used as part 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.
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.
Northrop Grumman Cutting Edge Optronics (CEO) developed the injection seeded, diode pumped Gigashot-HE laser, which outputs 2J of 532nm energy in each sub-10ns pulse at 10Hz with a near field flat top beam profile.
It consists of four PowerPULSE laser modules; one oscillator, one pre-amplifier, and two power amplifiers, utilising radially side pumped Nd:YAG rods ranging in diameter from 3 to 18mm. Each PowerPULSE laser module is pulse-pumped by laser diode arrays that have an expected lifetime in excess of 10 billion shots, which equates to more than 30 years of continuous operation at 10Hz.
HAPLS is designed to generate 30J pulses in less than 30fs each, delivering a peak power greater than 1 Petawatt at a repetition rate of 10Hz. 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.
Powering the pulse: Greg Blackman on the amplifier technology needed to generate petawatt-class, ultrashort laser pulses