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 Producing electricity during flight
20.09.2017 | Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau

nachricht Solar-to-fuel system recycles CO2 to make ethanol and ethylene
19.09.2017 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>