The Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) at the University of Rochester (UR) was established in 1970 to investigate the interaction of high power lasers with matter. It is home of the Omega Laser Facility that includes OMEGA, a 30 kJ UV 60-beam laser system (at a wavelength of 0.35 mm) and OMEGA EP, a four-beam, high energy, laser system with up to 26 kJ UV. Two of the OMEGA EP beamlines can also be operated as high-intensity, short-pulse (ps) lasers capable of Petawatt operation (up to 2.6 kJ each at 1.053 mm in a 10 ps pulse duration). Omega is one of NNSA’s large high energy density research facilities.
LLE has provided qualified University/Business researchers with a unique environment for experiments in inertial fusion and high energy density physics on the Omega Laser Facility through the National Laser Users' Facility (NLUF) since 1979. Approved experiments have included inertial fusion and high energy density physics, with such topics as plasma physics, x-ray laser physics, XUV spectroscopy, and instrumentation development. The NNSA’s Office of Inertial Confinement Fusion funds the operation of Omega for the NLUF, making it possible for researchers to conduct experiments without a direct facility charge. In addition, the NNSA provides research funds directly to users to support experiments, as well as target fabrication support.
Roberto Mancini and Taisuke Nagayama standing in front of a schematic of the OMEGA laser bay. Taisuke's Ph.D. dissertation extracted the 3-D spatial structure of OMEGA ICF implosions cores from data analysis using spectral (polychromatic) tomography.