It is a significant manufacturing and engineering challenge to accurately deliver and position a pristine target to the interaction point at a high repetition rate (10Hz). Furthermore, the ability to manipulate the high intensity beam using targetry solutions as a plasma mirror is critical to the ability to deliver high contrast pulses, and the ability to manipulate and deflect the laser beam after the interaction is critical to the use of the high energy radiation beams that are created.
Using tape as the interaction material or the carrier for a microtarget is an effective way to enable the replenishment of the target material at a high rate, developments of delivery systems with high accuracy in the UK are being coupled with bespoke designs in India for vacuum coating plants that are able to deposit target features with high accuracy over large lengths of tape material.
The use of thin sheets, droplets, or streams of liquid for targetry solutions has the advantage of being easily replenishable and create little debris. Work is ongoing to identify and develop solutions that are able to work within the hostile environments that are created by the laser interaction.
Experimental testing of targetry solutions is carried out in TIFR to ensure that when deployed experimentally issues such as EMP, Debris, target positioning and shot damage are fully understood. The ability to shoot at a high repetition rate to understand the loads and impact on targetry systems is invaluable in the development of these technologies.