Eagerly awaiting questions
What are you doing at Harwell Open Day?
This room demonstrates some of the amazing technology we use every day to control the lasers.
( I will be responding to your questions after your visit, so please don’t worry if I don’t answer instantly ! – I also have the “table of Plasma” profile, where you can ask questions about plasma and why that’s important )
How does it relate to you work?
This is my work !
The Lasers we have here are amazing, some really powerful, some really fast. To keep everything working, we need some really clever controls.
Just imagine… the laser pulse moves at the speed of light…. electric signals don’t ! so, to make sure everything works, we have to send the electrical signals out, in sequence, BEFORE we let the laser pulse start it’s journey… This takes a mixture of technology, from automated beam alignement that keeps the beam on the right path, to pneumatics that insert mirrors or lenses to direct the beam round corners, as well as system that control the power, the cooling, and finally, data capture.
Controlling the laser is a DCS system, ( Distributed Computing System ) that uses its own dedicated fibre optic network.
Controlling the target areas is a separate system, that is fully programmable to suit the experimenters needs.
Looking after my ( and yours ! ) safety is an interlock system, ( there’s an example of that a few doors allong the corridor )
These systems are all built on site, this room is our test and development facility
What is the take home message?
With great power, comes great responsibility
How long did you take to prepare for Harwell Open Day?
Preparing for Open week has taken me over 8 months, as I am part of the Central Laser Facilities Open day working group.
The Automated Beam Guidance display is a system that is currently in use, so by using a test-bed on open day, we’re gaining more experience of how the system reacts to changes.
The PID demonstration shows how a simple closed loop control system can do amazing things
Why are you taking part in Harwell Open Day?
to help inspire the innovators of the future !