Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Superlaser with extra strong output starting to work near Prague

ČTK |
24 January 2017

Dolni Brezany, Central Bohemia, Jan 23 (CTK) - The "superlaser" Bivoj with the strongest output in the world will make the first internal experiment with which it will start working yesterday, the HiLASE (High average power pulsed LASErs) centre project manager, Tomas Mocek, has told journalists.
In the first three months of this year, the scientists will get acquainted with its technological capacities and they will only offer the laser to external users, such as companies, in the latter half of the year, Mocek said.
The laser is called Bivoj after a strongman from Czech legends.
Czech and British scientists have outstripped the competing teams from the USA, Japan and France. They were the first to have developed and tested a laser with an extra strong output last year.
The 1000-watt output of the new laser will enable to work much faster and more efficiently than other laser devices, and consequently shape larger areas of material.
HiLASE is a part of the scientific infrastructure with the centre Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI).
It is an objective of the centre that Dolni Brezany be recorded in the world map as a state-of-the-art high-tech region within ten years, Mocek said.
The objective is to be also achieved thanks to the 1.2 billion crowns the centre gained along with the Britons for the development of superlasers and their use in industrial practice last November.
The laser will be used in aviation, the car and engineering industries, wherever a use is made of expensive components from special metal materials that need to be revitalised after some time.
"We will be offering expertise for the finding of the best parametres for a given material. However, we will not manufacture the components," Mocek said.
The five-year project was backed by the European Commission and the Czech Education Ministry. It will be started this April.
"The money is mainly to be spent on the transfer of knowledge from the strategic partner to us. We have to admit that Anglo-Saxon-culture is ahead of us in the materialisation of the results of scientific work. In the next six years, we will be learning this from our British colleagues," Mocek said.
Out of the research institutions established with the use of European money in the Czech Republic in the past years, HiLASE is at the world top in its field, the deputy chairman of the Confederation of Industry of the Czech Republic, Radek Spicar, told journalists.
"This means not only an excellent centre within the Czech and European environment, but also in institution in the global context. This is why we spoke about a landmark, strongest beam in the world yesterday," Spicar said.
British experts from the Central Laser Facility (CLF) were developing and constructing the laser for three years. At the end of 2015, they brought the dismantled device to the Czech Republic. They assembled it again in cooperation with Czech colleagues in Brezany in January 2016.
On December 16, 2016, the Czech and British scientists in HiLASE set a new record high value of one kilowatt as the first nanosecond laser to have overcome the barrier, Mocek said.
John Collier, director of the British CLF, said the laser was also unique in using the laser ceramics as an active medium, working in a very low temperature in order to have a sufficient cooling output.
($1=25.414 crowns)
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