Spotight: The world's highest peak-power laser diode arrays
Lasertel, part of Selex Galileo Inc., has contributed to the deployment of the world’s highest peak-power laser diode arrays, as part of a cutting-edge laser technology project managed by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The diode arrays represent total peak power of 3.2 megawatts.
Lasertel, the world's leading supplier of pulsed laser diode arrays, was approached by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to support the construction of its High-Repetition-Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS). The system will be installed in the European Union’s Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) Beamlines facility in the Czech Republic. HAPLS is designed to be capable of generating peak powers greater than one petawatt (1 quadrillion watts) at a repetition rate of 10 Hertz, with each pulse lasting 30 femtoseconds (30 quadrillionths of a second). This very high repetition rate will be a major advancement over current petawatt system technologies.
While scientists have long performed experiments with powerful single-shot lasers, the HAPLS will provide the opportunity to repeat experiments at 10 times per second. This high repetition rate will make possible new scientific discoveries to the benefit of physics, medicine, biology, and materials science.
LLNL partnered with Lasertel to develop these diode arrays due to the company’s expertise developing high-powered semiconductor laser pump modules. For the HAPLS project, the company combined advanced semiconductor laser technology with novel micro-optics to supply the megawatt-class pump modules in a reliable, integrated platform.
Lasertel President, Mark McElhinney, said: "We are thrilled to be working with LLNL, who continue to push the boundaries for high-energy laser systems. Our collaboration has enabled several new benchmarks for laser performance to be set in a remarkably short period of time. This is a validation of the significant progress that has been made toward the routine production of high-energy lasers for revolutionary commercial applications and ground-breaking scientific research."
HAPLS Program Director, Constantin Haefner, added: "Combining Lasertel’s diode technology with LLNL’s highly compact and efficient pulsed-power system is the enabling technology to drive high energy lasers at rep rate. This combination of expertise has created a robust, stable, laser driver platform with high reliability, cost efficiency and – most important for the scientific user community – long-term scalability to maintain competitiveness in the future."