This new beamline will be called the Venus laser and will be capable of running independently of and combined with the other beams in Vulcan.
The beamline, which will use a special technique called OPCPA to deliver 30 joules in 30 femtoseconds, will have the ability to image the extremely rapid shocks generated by the other Vulcan beams.
Depending on what is needed in the experiment, this beam will allow us to observe with great detail the moment, or the moment just after, the petawatt laser hits the target. This will greatly improve our ability to see and analyse the results of each shot in an experiment. It will also enable us to do experiments that require the generation of protons and electrons.
Taking technological insight and inspiration from our Gemini laser, this beam will mimic Gemini's high-spec imaging capabilities and will meet user requests for x-ray imaging of shock experiments.
Head of Vulcan Laser Dr. Ian Musgrave said, 'This exciting upgrade will provide unique world leading capabilities to be offered to our user community.'
The new beamline will sit in rooms within the Vulcan called Laser Area 4 (LA4), the former Target Area East (TAE) (which will be refurbished to become the new Venus laser front end) and Target Area Petawatt (TAP). The layout will be as shown below.