Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Free electron laser reaches 10 kW

02.08.2004


The Free-Electron Laser (FEL) achieved 10 kilowatts of infrared laser light, making it the most powerful tunable laser in the world.


The Free-Electron Laser (FEL), supported by the Office of Naval Research and located at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, achieved 10 kilowatts of infrared laser light in late July, making it the most powerful tunable laser in the world. The recently upgraded laser’s new capabilities will enhance defense and manufacturing technologies, and support advanced studies of chemistry, physics, biology, and more.

"No other laser can provide the same benefits to manufacturing, medical research, biology, and basic physics," said ONR’s Directed Energy Program Officer, Mr. Quentin Saulter. "The Navy has chosen the FEL because it has multi-mission capabilities. Its unique, high-power and 24-hour capabilities are ideal for Department of Defense, industrial, and scientific applications."

The FEL program began as the One-Kilowatt Demonstration FEL, which broke power records and made its mark as the world’s brightest high average power laser. It delivered 2.1 kilowatts (kW) of infrared light, more than twice it was initially designed to achieve, before it was taken offline in November 2001 for an upgrade to 10 kW. "Whenever a technology gains a factor of ten improvement in performance, the achievement opens the door to many new applications, some foreseen, and some are simply very pleasant surprises," said Christoph Leemann, Jefferson Lab Director. "We look forward to operating this exciting new machine and carrying out the many experiments planned for it."



The FEL provides intense beams of laser light that can be tuned to a precise wavelength, and which are more powerful than beams from a conventional laser. Conventional lasers are limited in the wavelength of light they emit by the source of the electrons (such as a gas or crystal) used within the laser. In the FEL, electrons are stripped from their atoms and then whipped up to high energies by a linear accelerator. From there, they are steered into a wiggler--a device that uses an electromagnetic field to shake the electrons, forcing them to release some of their energy in the form of photons. As in a conventional laser, the photons are bounced between two mirrors and then emitted as a coherent beam of light. However, FEL operators can adjust the wavelength of the laser’s emitted light by increasing or decreasing the energies of the electrons in the accelerator or the amount of shaking in the wiggler.

"As we cross the 10 kW milestone, our team at Jefferson Lab is grateful for the considerable support and encouragement we have received from the Navy, Air Force and our colleagues across the country," said Fred Dylla, Jefferson Lab FEL program manager.

ONR’s Quentin Saulter manages the FEL development effort in cooperation with the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Directed Energy and Electric Weapons Office, headed by Captain Roger McGinnis. ONR is also funding the operation and optimization of the 10 kW FEL, and has several experiments slated to begin in early fall. A laser materials damage study will be co-funded with the Office of the Secretary of Defense High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office (HEL-JTO). In another project, scientists from the Naval Research Laboratory will study laser propagation through the atmosphere, with an eye to new laser-based shipboard defense strategies.

The Navy is also interested in the ultraviolet and terahertz light that the FEL can produce at world-record powers. The Navy intends on using the lessons learned from the development of the 10 kW FEL to begin design and construction of a 100 kW FEL over the next four years. Eventually, the Navy plans on moving the 100 kW laser to an over water test site, and scaling the power up to megawatt levels.

Jennifer Huergo | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.onr.navy.mil
http://www.jlab.org

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world
05.12.2016 | IHP - Leibniz-Institut für innovative Mikroelektronik

nachricht High-precision magnetic field sensing
05.12.2016 | ETH Zurich

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

IHP presents the fastest silicon-based transistor in the world

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

InLight study: insights into chemical processes using light

05.12.2016 | Materials Sciences

High-precision magnetic field sensing

05.12.2016 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>