Omega Laser Facility Users Group

Background

The OMEGA Laser Facility is a user facility featuring both high-energy and high-intensity lasers and capable of a wide variety of scientific experiments. It is located at the Laboratory for Laser Energetics of the University of Rochester. At present 30% of the facility use time is devoted to fundamental science experiments, with the remainder going to inertial confinement fusion research. As a national users facility, LLE is a member of the National User Facility Organization, whose overall goal is to promote science edcuation and outreach throughout the Nation.

Membership

Membership is open to anyone who uses OMEGA, aspires to use OMEGA, or aspires to collaborate with a group or consortium that uses OMEGA. To join, either email R. D. Petrasso and request membership, or attend one of the annual OLUG User Workshops. There are no dues. Exclusions: employees of LLE significantly involved with the operation of or LLE scientific program at OMEGA are not eligible for membership.

The OMEGA Users comprise 304 academics and researchers from 32 Universities, and from 23 national laboratories and centers. 15 different countries are represented. The largest component of the membership derives from the universities.

List of Current Members

Purpose

To facilitate communication and exchanges among the users of OMEGA, from the users as a group to the facility, and from the users to the broader scientific community. To organize an annual 2.5 day workshop, which is held at the end of April. There are two major goals of the Users workshop: First, to define improvements to the capabilities and operation of the facility that would advance research opportunities for a broad cross-section of the Users; this takes the form of Findings and Recommendations that the Users generate and then present to the facility management. This is an iterative process that transpires between the Users and the management, and it has proved to be very successful. A second major goal of the workshop is to provide an opportunity for young researchers—students, postdocs, recent Ph.D.'s—to present their research in a very interactive yet informal setting. In this regard, great effort is taken to obtain funding for student/postdoc travel to the workshop, something which has been generously funded by NNSA. In addition, the Users also meet annually at the Division of Plasma Physics meeting, typically Tuesday evening, in order to reassess our Findings and Recommendations, and to discuss with management progress towards their implementation.

Executive Committee

Duties of the Initiating Executive Committee

The Executive Committee, nominated and elected by the User Group, will define all aspects of the Users Group bylaws, policies, and procedures. The committee will elect a chair, who must be from the academic and/or small business community.

Organization of this process

At the request of LLE, Dr. Richard Petrasso of MIT and Professor Paul Drake of the University of Michigan developed the initial plan. Subsequently it was amended and approved at the OMEGA EP User Workshop.