WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced $18 million to fund operations and user support at ten high-intensity laser facilities at national laboratories and universities across the United States and Canada. 

The initiative, known as LaserNetUS, aims to accelerate U.S. research in the field of high-energy-density plasma science by expanding use of the specialized laser facilities essential to such studies.

“Plasma science is a critical field, with broad importance to both science and industry, and it is important that U.S. scientists remain in the forefront,” said Dr. Chris Fall, Director of DOE’s Office of Science. “LaserNetUS expands research opportunities and promotes optimal use of the handful of facilities available for this research.”

As part of the LaserNetUS network, the ten participating institutions—including six U.S. universities, three DOE national laboratories, and a Canadian national research institute—agree to common application and peer review practices to expand and improve access by scientists to the high-intensity lasers.

Planned funding totals $18 million for three years, with $6.8 million in Fiscal Year 2020 dollars, and outyear funding contingent on congressional appropriations. Of the three-year total, $17 million will be devoted to funding facility operations, with an additional $1 million to provide user support, such as travel expenses.

Participating institutions were selected by peer review under a program sponsored by the Office of Fusion Energy Science (FES) within DOE’s Office of Science.

A complete list of the participating institutions can be found on the FES homepage under the heading, “What’s New.”