The THRILL project is built on 6 Work Packages:
The objective of WP 1 is to manage the overall project with respect to administrative, contractual, legal, ethical, financial, and technical issues to ensure the highest quality of service and complete deliverables according to the framework and budget foreseen. Furthermore, it aims at monitoring the progress of the project and reporting to the project bodies in order to be able to take corrective action if necessary, in particular in view of the latest pandemic and/or political developments.
This work package deals with all aspects of communication, dissemination, exploitation, and training of the THRILL project. It will assist the project management in identifying, addressing and engaging with end-users from the academy and industry through targeted communication, mutual support, and services.
In addition to internal community building, a major objective of the project is to steer it toward the real needs of the scientific community, thus fully exploiting the potential of the high-energy laser facilities, by continuously engaging with key stakeholders such as industry and end users.
Finally, the training activities are aimed at developing and strengthening the expertise and competencies of RI staff in order to build a highly skilled workforce capable of maintaining the developed new technologies for the long-term operation of the facilities.
In order to reach the overall objectives of the project, the requirements and parameters for the next generation of highenergy laser systems for ESFRI facilities will be defined in collaboration with end users. Different technical routes will be reviewed and evaluated leading to laser system designs at two specific facilities, Eu-XFEL and FAIR. The most critical components (cooled laser amplifier modules for high repetition rate, beam transport for maintaining a good beam quality and large area optical coatings with high damage threshold) and concepts (energy scaling by the beam combining), will be evaluated and experimentally demonstrated in the scope of the technical work packages in this project. The outcome of these investigations will guide decisions for the final design of the Eu-XFEL and FAIR laser systems. In addition, theoretical analysis (calculations, numerical simulations) will support the design choices and strengthen the feasibility. By bringing together all these aspects the output of this work package will be a Conceptual Design Report for each of the two laser systems (at Eu-XFEL and at FAIR), serving as a blueprint for their realization.
Current low-repetition rate, high-energy laser systems feature at their output amplifiers which, driven by the threshold of fluence-induced damage, are bulky to the degree that they determine the overall size of the laser system, but are technically a lot less complex than the other system parts. However, they determine the repetition rate of the entire system because they have to relax to the state before a laser shot and rather little is done to assist this process. With the increase in the laser system’s repetition rate, the high-energy amplification stage has to gain in complexity because the mostly thermal loading of the amplification media has to be managed efficiently to avoid build-up effects.
Given this, we first aim at gaining a deeper insight into the real-world operation and limits of the designs of the most advanced amplifier technology currently available with special regard for the scalability and sustainability of these schemes. Evaluation of this knowledge will guide the way to taking the technological decisions towards the development of an amplification scheme that fits our needs best.
We will study beam relay imaging throughout the laser including after pulse compression as a way to increase the beam quality significantly. It will result in a higher energy throughput of high-energy and high-intensity lasers. Furthermore, suitable beam transport and stabilization concepts shall be developed in order to meet the intensity requirements of the lasers at FAIR and Eu-XFEL (WP3). Machine learning shall be investigated as a way to quantify the resulting beam stability and alleviate harmful correlations.
We aim at developing processes for the deposition of coatings over a very large area for high-power laser systems. Transparent conductive coatings will be developed to enable large-aperture electro-optical isolators essential for highenergy lasers. The development efforts will be supported by Laser-Induced Damage Threshold testing and metrology.