The SCAPA infrastructure is part of a major refurbishment of the John Anderson Building at the University of Strathclyde. It consists of ~1200 m2 total area comprising shielded areas, laser labs, preparation labs and control area. There are 3 shielded areas for a total of 7 accelerator beam lines and 300 m2 total working space (compared to 37 m2 for the old ALPHA-X shielded area). The SCAPA laser labs are located on top of the shielded areas.
The workhorse for the ALPHA-X laser wakefield accelerator beam line since 2007 has been a 40 TW (1.4 J, 35 fs, repetition rate of 10 Hz) Ti:sapphire laser system. This laser will drive 3 beam lines in SCAPA, including ALPHA-X.
In addition, an entirely new Ti:sapphire laser system has been procured for SCAPA. It produces 8.75 J, 25 fs pulses at a repetition rate of 5 Hz, corresponding to a peak power of 350 TW (world’s highest average power laser of its type), and will drive 4 of the SCAPA beam lines. There is potential for future upgrading to PW capacity. This new laser system was commissioned in early 2017.
SCAPA also houses a number of auxiliary spaces for experimental preparation and post-analysis. These comprise:
- kHz repetition rate Ti:sapphire laser system for plasma accelerator development and characterisation, a femtosecond laser micromachining station, diagnostic development, etc.
- bio prep room with biological safety cabinets and incubator.
- chemical prep room with fume cupboards.
- imaging room with imaging plate reader and film scanners.
- radioisotope sealed source room for X-ray and gamma ray detector calibration.