The Central Laser Facility (CLF) is a partnership between its staff and the large number of members of UK and European universities who use the specialised laser equipment provided to carry out a broad range of experiments in physics, chemistry and biology. CLF provide a broad spectrum of laser facilities from high intensity laser systems to ultra-fast sources and laser microscopy techniques.
Astra Gemini is a high power, ultra-short pulse laser system delivering dual beams of 15 J, 30 fs laser pulses focused to intensities in excess of 1021 W/cm2. The facility was upgraded in 2009 and now uses ICAT to catalogue shot and metrology data. This raw data is made available via a web-based tool to scientists associated with each experiment. The data is also combined with other sources to give the operations team an overview of the performance of the laser.
Two other CLF lasers – Vulcan and Artemis – will be incorporated into ICAT over the next couple of years.