EPAC Installation update June 2023
16 Jun 2023



Since the building completion ceremony almost a year ago, CLF staff and contractors have been hard at work inside the EPAC building to transform it into a world class laser facility. Get an inside peak at the major installation updates!

Front of the EPAC building on a sunny day with large windows and a shiny exterior.

Left: the front of the EPAC building on a sunny day. Right: The EPAC sign that was recently put up, it reads: "Central Laser Facility Extreme Photonics Applications Centre".

​Find out more about this project on the EPAC information pages​.

​​​EPAC front end and lab spaces​

The laser rooms on the second floor in EPAC have changed the most since the building handover. The pump room, TiSa amplifier room and front end rooms will be the backbone of the EPAC facility, and they're starting to fill up with equipment!

EPAC will be driven by a 10Hz Petawatt laser. The pre-built pump front end has been moved to EPAC and commissioned, part of which is featured in the right-hand image below. To allow the operation of the first laser systems, the safety interlock systems have also been commissioned in this room, alongside the vacuum lines and vacuum pump. ​

Left: Optical tables in one of the front-end rooms in EPAC. Right: Pre-built pump front end consisting of a pump laser that was recently commissioned in EPAC. 

Experimental areas

The two experimental areas are Experimental Area 1 (EA1) and Experimental Area 2 (EA2). These can be viewed from the eye safe mezzanines in EPAC, which will have laser-safe shutters down when experiments are running.

EA1 is the larger of the two experimental areas, designed for Laser Wakefield Acceleration (LWFA) experiments. Using EA1, we will be able to produce and utilise high-quality x-rays for high-resolution imaging and non-destructive evaluation. Shown in the left-hand image, EA1's floor has been ground and received a satisfying polish to make it as flat a surface as possible for the target hardware to eventually be installed on.

EA2 will contain a large vacuum chamber that can be configured in a flexible way with short, medium, and long-focus beamline options. It is shown in the right-hand image. The picture on the floor of the target area is a diagram of the interaction chamber, roughly placed where it will be built. 

Left: EA1. Right: EA2

EPAC offices and communal spaces

The EPAC building will also have offices for staff and long term visitors. The foyer, offices, and communal spaces in EPAC have been fully furnished! The first set of completed office spaces have been handed over to the CLF, and the hope is that staff will move into them this summer. ​

Collage of images of the offices in EPAC showing colourful furniture and desks in both open plan and closed off rooms.

Contact: Snelgrove, Kaylyn (STFC,RAL,CLF)