The OMEGA Laser System, a key asset for NNSA's stockpile stewardship program, recently completed its 20,000th target shot.
Located at the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) in New York state, the Omega Laser Facility includes the 60-beam OMEGA Laser System – which has been in operation since 1995 – and OMEGA EP, or extended performance laser, which came online in 2008. The two lasers can be used independently or together to provide a more detailed x-ray image of a particular experiment.
The Omega Laser Facility is used to generate extreme temperatures and pressures required to support the Stockpile Stewardship Program, including the development of ignition. The Facility is operated as a national user facility, with experiments performed by scientists from the national laboratories, LLE, and numerous universities.
“The OMEGA Laser System has been one of NNSA’s High Energy Density (HED) workhorses providing essential physics results required to support the demonstration of inertial confinement fusion ignition on the National Ignition Facility (NIF) and the Stockpile Stewardship Program,” said Don Cook, Deputy Administrator for Defense Programs. “The experimental platforms and techniques developed on OMEGA are essential to the successful use of the NIF. The basic HED science research performed on OMEGA supports NNSA’s mission of developing the workforce to support future national needs.”
In concert with the NNSA's Z machine at Sandia National Laboratories, the National Ignition Facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and other scientific and computing capabilities, the Omega Laser Facility helps NNSA scientists to maintain a safe, secure and effective nuclear deterrent without underground testing. Together, these tools will help experts evaluate key scientific assumptions in current computer models, obtain previously unavailable data on how materials behave at temperatures and pressures like those in the center of a star, and help validate NNSA's supercomputer simulations by comparing code predictions against observations from laboratory experiments.
See more about OMEGA here.