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The Orion facility at the Atomic Weapons Establishment in the United Kingdom has the capability to operate one of its two 500 J, 500 fs short-pulse petawatt beams at the second harmonic, the principal reason being to increase the temporal contrast of the pulse on target. This is achieved post-compression, using 3 mm thick type-1 potassium dihydrogen phosphate crystals. Since the beam diameter of the compressed pulse is
mm, it is impractical to achieve this over the full aperture due to the unavailability of the large aperture crystals. Frequency doubling was originally achieved on Orion using a circular sub-aperture of 300 mm diameter. The reduction in aperture limited the output energy to 100 J. The second-harmonic capability has been upgraded by taking two square 300 mm
300 mm sub-apertures from the beam and combining them at focus using a single paraboloidal mirror, thus creating a 200 J, 500 fs, i.e., 400 TW facility at the second harmonic.
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