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US$150 mn Colorado State University laser facility planned

A $150 million laser facility will be constructed in collaboration between Colorado State University (CSU) and Marvel Fusion to support inertial fusion energy and high energy density physics research. In accordance with the public-private partnership, the facility will be built on the CSU Foothills Campus. However, the CSU system board of governors’ has to approve of the financial specifics.

The project is slated for completion in 2026. It will have at least three laser systems, each with a peak power of several petawatts. Furthermore, it has an ultrafast repetition rate of ten flashes per second. The flagship facility will be built to support future growth with more lasers. The location for the new laser facility has been chosen next to CSU’s 2013-built Advanced Beam Laboratory.

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Headquartered in Munich, Germany Proton-boron fusion is being advanced by Marvel Fusion. The business has created a direct diode pumping, short-pulsed laser technology. In order to assure that its lasers can generate pulse repetition rates up to 10 Hz, the company’s strategy uses peak power laser output over 10 PW.

Marvel teamed with Thales and the ELI-NP (Extreme Light Infrastructure – Nuclear Physics) in Romania to modify the laser system and conduct research. Eight months later, CSU and Marvel Fusion presented plans for the Colorado facility.

Why Colorado State University was chosen for the laser facility

CSU is a component of LaserNetUS. Last week, it won $28.5 million from the Office of Science of the Department of Energy to enhance inertial fusion energy and discovery science.  MNMThe Department of Energy has provided CSU with an additional $12.5 million in funding. The funds will be used for LaserNetUS support and laser upgrade prototyping.

Jorge Rocca, director of CSU’s Laboratory for Advanced Lasers and Extreme Photonics and a University Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at CSU, said, “This is an exciting opportunity for laser-based science, a dream facility for discovery and advanced technology development with great potential for societal impact.”

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