11-13 June 2012, 2012 Annual NAHEL Meeting, CLF, UK

  • When Jun 11, 2012 12:00 AM to Jun 13, 2012 12:00 AM (Etc/GMT+2 / UTC-200)
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  • Current status of European laser user facilities and international collaborative laser projects.
  • General operational issues for laser user facilities.
  • Beam delivery, reliability and quality.
  • High intensity interaction experimental techniques and challenges.
  • Experimental support for user group led experiments.
  • High repetition rate (> shot / minute) technologies and operations.


The 2012 Networking Activity on High Energy Lasers (NAHEL) workshop was hosted by the Central Laser Facility and held at the Cosener's House, Abingdon on the 11th & 12th June 2012. The meeting was held under the auspices of the Laserlab-Europe Consortium with the purpose of coordinating activities and sharing knowledge between the large laser user facilities within Europe.

The introductory session was devoted to presentations by representatives of each of the attendee institutions (CLF, GSI, PALS and LULI) outlining the current status of the facilities and updates on development projects. This was followed by five discussion sessions covering a wide range of topics of importance for facility operations. Each session was presided over by a chair who had organized ahead of the meeting a series of questions to guide the discussion. During these sessions, PowerPoint slides were occasionally used as an aid to illustrate points, but no formal presentations were scheduled. The workshop concluded on the morning of 13th June with tours of the Central Laser Facility covering the Vulcan, Astra-Gemini, Artemis and Dipole laser systems and the Target Fabrication department.

The workshop was useful to highlight the operational issues common to all the facilities. Reliably diagnosing the laser properties delivered to target is a major challenge, in particular the measurement of the pulse duration and the focal spot. The amount of information provided to users varies across the facilities and automated post-processing of laser data is not generally performed. Plasma mirrors are in common use for contrast enhancement and thin pellicles are used for optic protection. High repetition rate operations are currently only of serious concern for the CLF (Gemini) but will affect upcoming facilities. The implications of moving to of order 1Hz operations in terms of mass production of targets and the necessary improvements in target positioning and data acquisition systems will have an impact on the cost of running facilities. The level of support provided by facilities for the users was also discussed. Planning of experiments begins 3 - 6 months before the start date with some facilities assigning a link scientist to co-ordinate the activity. The user training courses run by the CLF have been very successful and there is potential to extend this to a Laserlab-wide activity.


For more information please contact:
Daniel Symes (Scientific organizer)
Michelle King (Administrative organizer)