National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA’s Defense Programs Leaders visits Laboratory for Laser Energetics

December 9, 2016

You are here

From left, LLE Deputy Director Dr. Michael Campbell, NNSA’s Maj. Brian Sump, LLE Director Robert L. McCrory, NNSA physicist Dr. Njema Frazier, Lutton, MIT High Energy-Density Physics senior scientist Richard Petrasso, and LLE Collaborator Stephen Padallino gather in front of OMEGA.

Last week NNSA’s Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton visited the University of Rochester’s Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE) for an overview of LLE’s unique capabilities and how they’re used in experiments to support NNSA’s science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program.

Established in 1970, LLE is home to the OMEGA Laser Facility, which is the largest and most capable laser found at any academic institution worldwide. OMEGA stands 10 meters tall and is about 100 meters long.

OMEGA, operational since 1995, is a vital contributor to national security mission objectives, a rich source of scientific education and leadership, and a source of innovation and growth for the optics, imaging and photonics sector. LLE is recognized internationally for its critical contributions to NNSA’s science-based Stockpile Stewardship Program in partnership with NNSA’s three national laboratories (Los Alamos, Sandia and Livermore).

LLE’s Omega Laser Facility Division Director Samuel F. B. Morse, LLE Associate Director of Operations Steven Loucks, LLE Deputy Director Dr. Michael Campbell, NNSA’s Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Military Application Brig. Gen. Michael Lutton, and NNSA physicist Dr. Njema Frazier explore the Omega Viewing Gallery. The gallery allows visitors to look down upon the target chamber and its 200 diagnostic tools when it’s not being fired.

Lutton, center, was guided through the LLE coating facility -- the Optical Manufacturing Shop -- by the shop’s group leader Amy Rigatti, second from left. The facility has the capability to supply optical devices in dimensions up to 75 cm for use in OMEGA and other experiments.

Lutton, right, was guided through the LLE coating facility, the Optical Manufacturing Shop, by the shop’s group leader Amy Rigatti. High-quality reflectors, polarizers, and antireflection coatings are produced in this facility with the use of an electron-beam gun.

LLE Deputy Director Dr. Michael Campbell, center, explains some of the experimental capabilities at LLE. The facility's OMEGA laser is also the staging and support facility for experiments at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory’s National Ignition Facility and supports laser research at the Z machine for Sandia National Laboratories' fusion approach as well as innovative fusion approaches in partnership with Los Alamos National Laboratory.