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In addition to moderate upgrades of the facilities in operation, the LULI lab is currently in charge of two major laser projects: LUCIA and CILEX-APOLLON.
The main objective of the LUCIA (for Laser Ultra-Court Intense et Applications) project is to develop a high average power laser system with a good wall-plug efficiency. The project has been launched during the 2000 – 2007 CPER programme. It is now regularly supported by the French DGA (Direction Générale de l'Armement) and by European funds, in particular in the framework of the Joint Research Activities of LASERLAB-EUROPE and of the work package #14 of the HiPER project. Apart from the laser chain design, various R&D studies are conducted within the project, on novel amplifying media (ceramics or gradually doped materials) or on the management of thermal effects.
The APOLLON project in funded in the framework of the 2007-2013 CPER programme, with the support of CNRS, Ecole Polytechnique and ENSTA, as far as the laser chain (~10 PW in the fs regime) is concerned and of the CILEX EQUIPEX as far as the experimental rooms and their environment are concerned. Set-up of the laser chain in the ALS building at l’Orme des Merisiers should be done after redoing of this latter, in order to be open to external users in 2015-2016, after preliminary experimental campaigns to validate the various equipments and make the facility reliable. The laser chain and the associated experimental areas will then form an unique Centre Inter-disciplinaire Lumière Extrême for leading experiments on various research topics related to high-power lasers and to secondary particle and radiation sources.