A look back at the 1st year of THRILL

It’s time to look back on our achievements and highlights from the first 12 months of the THRILL project!

Since the start of THRILL, we have already seen some encouraging early results, from promising tests and experiments to our first publication and the end-user workshop in October. All work packages are up and running, and contributing towards the four objectives of the project:

High-energy high-repetition-rate amplification

  • A dialogue forum with the user community has been established via the end-user board
    • This forum culminated with the organization of the end-user workshop, which helped summarizing the expectations of the community for the foreseeable future (GSI).
  • Technical work for task 4.1 on characterization of the HEHRR laser ATON has been completed (ELI)
  • The 31-cm-aperture diameter amplifier at GSI with partial cooling has been commissioned (GSI)
  • First promising experimental results on large-aperture coherent beam combining have been achieved (LULI) corresponding to record energy levels (20 Joules) of the combined beams.
  • Finalization of the design of the 20 cm liquid-cooled glass amplifier (Pseudo-Active Mirror Disk Amplifier Module) dedicated to kJ lasers at 0.1Hz rep-rate in task 4.2 (AMPLITUDE)
  • Development of the OPOSSUM (Open Source Optics Simulation System and Unified Modeler) software in task 3.4 (GSI). A versatile concept for modelling optical systems has been worked out. Several technical preview versions of the software package have been released which already allow for analyzing first real world systems.

High-energy beam transport

  • The first phase of the Apollon Real Time Adaptive Optics (ARTAO) system has been finalized with first promising tests successfully completed (January 2024).
    • It is worth mentioning the interdisciplinary collaboration established on the Compute And Control for Adaptive Optics (CACAO) software, initially developed for astronomy by the Subaru Coronographic Extreme Adaptive Optics (SCExAO) team and now for the first time integrated in an adaptive optics loop used in a large scale laser facility (LULI/Apollon).

Optical coating resilience for large optics

  • The procurement of long-lead time items has started with delays due to the change in the procurement procedure; however, no impact on deliverables is foreseen, some equipment being already delivered (ELI).

Community building and training

  • A summer school for young scientists is currently being organized to increase their knowledge and experience and to develop knowledge exchange across the WPs and with senior staff.
  • In addition to the immediate training of researchers within the topics of their work packages, several short-term staff exchanges between the participants in the project took place to ensure that researchers develop an understanding of all techniques available at other facilities and learn about each other’s expertise.

Finally, we were able to expand the THRILL consortium and welcome three new members to the project: the Extreme Light Infrastructure ERIC (ELI-ERIC), the University of Rochester and the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF).

We look forward to the second year of our project to continue to work on advancing technology in the field of high-energy high-repetition-rate lasers and train a highly skilled workforce for tomorrow’s challenges in research infrastructures and industry!

Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on LinkedIn to learn more about our work at THRILL, and stay updated on our advances!

Subscribe to our newsletter

For regular updates on THRILL, sign up for our newsletter.