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The Extreme Light Infrastructure for Nuclear Physics (ELI-NP) project in Romania has recently reached a significant milestone: the ultra-high intensity laser system developed by Thales has successfully generated its first pulses at a peak power level of 10 petawatts (1015 W).
When scientists first glimpsed the possibility of opening up new knowledge about the universe through ultra-powerful lasers, they faced a challenge: no laser at the time was remotely powerful enough. But ten years later, Thales has brought them to the verge of realising their vision.
Our customer the Centre for Advanced Laser Applications (CALA) located in Garching has big ambitions. One among them is the development of novel biomedical imaging technologies based on high-energy X-rays.
The first arm of the ELI NP laser system operating for the first time at a power level of 3 PetaWatt
The programme has now reached a major milestone, with the first arm of the laser system operating for the first time at a power level of 3 PetaWatt.
This laser will support research in nuclear physics and help advance human understanding of the physics of matter.
Selected again for NASA’s Mars exploration programme, Thales has now delivered the laser for the SuperCam instrument to the French space agency CNES, which is partnering NASA for Mars 2020.
NASA has begun building the Mars 2020 rover and integrating the instruments it will carry. The Mars 2020 mission will follow in the footsteps of Curiosity, which has been exploring Gale Crater on the surface of Mars for five and a half years, and will continue the search for evidence of past life.
The laser system is intended for South West Jiaotong University in Chengdu.
Thales laser installation has started and the customer has witnessed the first lasing effects.