£300,000 contract delivers ‘cloned’ laser chamber to Romania

Imperial College ASTRA Gemini Betatron X-Ray emmision experimentWith support from the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), NTE Vacuum Technology has delivered a £300,000 contract to a high intensity laser facility in Romania – a hugely advanced set up which is expected to lead to major scientific breakthroughs with applications in oncology, X-ray and gamma-ray imaging.

NTE built the brand new laser chamber for the CETAL Petawatt facility; it is modelled on an existing one (pictured) in the Central Laser Facility at STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) which was also built by NTE. A delegation from Romania saw the Gemini laser target interaction chamber at RAL and wanted a replica for the CETAL Petawatt laser facility.

NTE managing director Graham England said: “NTE were delighted to hear that STFC were prepared to both recommend NTE and allow the use of the manufacturing drawings. The support from STFC gave NTE the confidence to accept the contract. It has also helped NTE win other international business with another company involved with the chamber”.

Professor John Collier, Director of the Central Laser Facility, said he was pleased both that UK expertise was being used internationally and that it resulted in more business for a UK company. “It is a great demonstration of CLF and STFC collaborations supporting UK science, technology and engineering exports,” he added.

CETAL is due to be installed at the National Institute for Laser, Plasma and Radiation Physics (INFLPR)  in Bucharest-Magurele later this year and will have a programme of work very similar to the Gemini laser in the STFC Central Laser Facility. Gemini was used during some of the first demonstrations of ultra-intense laser pulses driving high quality electron acceleration. These have opened up the possibility for developing compact particle accelerators for use in medical and imaging applications.

This material is protected by copyright Ken Hurst 2013.


About Ken Hurst

Ken Hurst began his career as a journalist in London over 30 years ago, working on a range of publications before moving on to weekly newspaper production in the newly-independent Zambia of the 1970s. He returned to the UK where his work included spells on newspapers and magazines, before moving to head up Norwich Union’s corporate affairs division. In the 1990s he moved on to freelance, co-own and publish the B2B audio magazine Sound and front the BBC radio Yesterday’s Papers programme. There followed six years as Business Editor at Britain’s biggest selling regional daily newspaper, The Eastern Daily Press, where he led an award-winning team and for whom he still writes a weekly socio/political comment column. Subsequently, he was Group Editorial Director at CBM, responsible for its UK and US magazine output – including The Manufacturer magazine – research-driven industry reports and live events content. Currently he is Contributing Editor at Works Management magazine publisher Findlay Media and Chairman of the consumer publishing house TNT Multimedia Ltd. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of the British Association of Communicators in Business.
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