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The Centro de Laseres Pulsados in Salamanca, Spain has recently started operation phase and the first user access period on the 6 J 30 fs 200 TW system (VEGA 2) already started at the beginning of 2018. In this paper we report on two commissioning experiments recently performed on the VEGA 2 system in preparation for the user campaign. VEGA 2 system has been tested in different configurations depending on the focusing optics and targets used. One configuration (long focal length
cm) is for underdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a low density gas-jet generating electron beams (via laser wake field acceleration mechanism) with maximum energy up to 500 MeV and an X-ray betatron source with a 10 keV critical energy. A second configuration (short focal length
cm) is for overdense laser–matter interaction where VEGA 2 is focused onto a
thick Al target generating a proton beam with a maximum energy of 10 MeV and temperature of 2.5 MeV. In this paper we present preliminary experimental results.
We present a scintillator-based detector able to measure the proton energy and the spatial distribution with a relatively simple design. It has been designed and built at the Spanish Center for Pulsed Lasers (CLPU) in Salamanca and tested in the proton accelerator at the Centro de Micro-Análisis de Materiales (CMAM) in Madrid. The detector is capable of being set in the high repetition rate (HRR) mode and reproduces the performance of the radiochromic film detector. It represents a new class of online detectors for laser–plasma physics experiments in the newly emerging high power laser laboratories working at HRR.
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