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What we do

Discover how we support the defence and security of the UK.

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Our history

Learn about our proud history and what makes up our DNA.

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Site safety and security

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Connecting communities

Keeping you connected to what is happening at AWE

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About us

Learn more about our company and how we support the defence and security of the UK.

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Orion laser facility

Orion is one of the most powerful lasers and largest laser facilities in the UK.

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A unique national asset

We have unique nuclear expertise. We have a clear purpose and goals that set our direction.

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World-class expertise

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Working ethically

Learn about how we promote an ethical working environment.

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Freedom of Information

Find out how to make a Freedom of Information Act request.

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AWEsome education

Discover how we are supporting future generations.

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Local Liaison Committee

Find out more about the Local Liaison Committee and how they represent community interests.

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Our regulators

Read about how are sites are regulated and monitored.

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Supply chain

The supply chain is crucial to the delivery of our programme. What does it take to be a supplier.

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Local Liaison Committee

Find out more about the Local Liaison Committee and how they represent community interests.

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International partners

We seek to drive better value and efficiencies through collaborative international relationships.

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Working at AWE

Explore what it’s like to be part of our team

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Before you apply

Things to know before applying for a job.

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How to apply

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Current vacancies

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Publications – Orion published papers

High resolution, high signal-to-noise crystal spectrometer for measurements of line shifts in high-density plasmas Beiersdorfer et al Review of Scientific Instruments 89 10F120 (2018)

400 TW operation of Orion at ultra-high contrast Parker et al High Power Laser Science and Engineering 6 e47 (2018)

Characterisation of a sub-20 ps temporal resolution pulse dilation photomultiplier tube Gales et al Review of Scientific Instruments 89 063506 (2018)

Analysis of microscopic properties of radiative shock experiments performed at the Orion laser facility Rodríguez et al High Power Laser Science and Engineering 6 e36 (2018)

Review of HPLSE special issue on target fabrication Spindloe et al High Power Laser Science and Engineering 6 e13 (2018)

Measurement and simulation of the temperature evolution of a short pulse laser heated buried layer target Marley et al High Energy Density Physics 25 15 (2017)

X-ray computed tomography of adhesive wicking into carbon foam Chima High Power Laser Science and Engineering 5 e28 (2017)

REACH compliant epoxides used in the synthesis of Fe(III)-based aerogel monoliths for target fabrication Valls Arrufat et al High Power Laser Science and Engineering 5 e24 (2017)

Design and fabrication of gas cell targets for laboratory astrophysics experiments on the Orion high-power laser facility Spindloe et al High Power Laser Science and Engineering 5 e22 (2017)

Absolute calibration of optical streak cameras on picosecond time scales using supercontinuum generation  Patankar et al Applied Optics 56 6982 (2017)

Counterpropagating Radiative Shock Experiments on the Orion Laser Suzuki-Vidal et al Physical Review Letters 119 055001 (2017)

X-ray diffraction measurements of plasticity in shock-compressed vanadium in the region of 10–70 GPa Foster et al Journal of Applied Physics 122 025117 (2017)

Modelling K shell spectra from short pulse heated buried microdot targets Hoarty et al High Energy Density Physics 23 178 (2017)

Counter-propagating radiative shock experiments on the Orion laser and the formation of radiative precursors Clayson et al High Energy Density Physics 23 60 (2017)

Measurements of plasma spectra from hot dense elements and mixtures at conditions relevant to the solar radiative zone Hoarty et al AIP Conference Proceedings 1811 050001 (2017)

A high spatio-temporal resolution optical pyrometer at the ORION laser facility Floyd et al Review of Scientific Instruments 87 11E546 (2016)

Direct-drive DT implosions with Knudsen number variations Kim et al Journal of Physics: Conference Series 717 012030 (2016)

Orion: a high contrast user facility Hillier et al Journal of Physics: Conference Series 688 012030 (2016)

Comparative study on the temporal contrast of femtosecond mode-locked laser oscillators Stuart et al Optics Letters 41 3221 (2016)

Laboratory analogue of a supersonic accretion column in a binary star system Cross et al Nature Communications 7 11899 (2016)

Lineshape spectroscopy with a very high resolution, very high signal-to-noise crystal spectrometer Beiersdorfer et al Review of Scientific Instruments 87 063501 (2016)

On the Optimized Atomic Exchange Potential method and the CASSANDRA opacity code Jeffery et al High Energy Density Physics 20 1 (2016)

Multi-scale modelling for HEDP experiments on Orion Sircombe et al Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 717, conference 1 (2016)

The first capsule implosion experiments on Orion Garbett et al Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 717, conference 1 (2016)

Inelastic response of silicon to shock compression Higginbotham et al Scientific Reports 6 24211 (2016)

Integrated modelling framework for short pulse high energy density physics experiments Sircombe et al Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 688, conference 1 (2016)

Self-consistent particle-in-cell modelling of short pulse absorption and transport for high energy density physics experiments Ramsay et al Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Volume 688, conference 1 (2016)

Vibration stability of Orion laser facility Brownjohn et al Procs ICE - Structures and Building Paper 1400133 (2015)

Contemporary particle-in-cell approach to laser-plasma modelling Arber et al Plasma Physics Controlled Fusion 57 113001 (2015)

Comprehensive description of the Orion laser facility Hopps et al Plasma Physics and Controlled Fusion 57 064002 (2015)

The scaling of electron and positron generation in intense laser-solid interactions Chen et al Physics of Plasmas 22 056705 (2015)

Scaling the Yield of Laser-Driven Electron-Positron Jets to Laboratory Astrophysical Applications Chen et al Physical Review Letters 114 215001 (2015)

Target Fabrication for the POLAR experiment on the Orion laser facility Spindloe et al High Power Laser Science and Engineering 3 e8 (2015)

Inertial Confinement Fusion and Prospects for Power Production Edwards and Danson High Power Laser Science and Engineering 3 e4 (2015)

Petawatt Class Lasers Worldwide Danson et al High Power Laser Science and Engineering 3 e3 (2015) 

High Energy Density Physics at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Randewich and Danson High Power Laser Science and Engineering 2 e40 (2014)

Development of a ten inch manipulators-based, flexible, broadband two-crystal spectrometer Steel et al  Review of Scientific Instruments 85 11D610 (2014)

Contrast enhancements to petawatt lasers using short pulse optical parametric amplifiers and frequency doubling Hillier et al Applied Optics 53 6938 (2014)

Pulse Fidelity in ultra-high-power (petawatt class) laser systems Danson et al High Power Laser Science and Engineering 2 e34 (2014)

Polar direct drive illumination uniformity provided by the Orion facility Temporal et al The European Physical Journal D 67 205 (2013)

The first data from the Orion laser; measurements of the spectrum of hot, dense aluminium Hoarty et al High Energy Density Physics 9 661 (2013)

Observations of the effect of ionization potential depression in hot, dense plasma Hoarty et al  Physical Review Letters 110 265003 (2013)

Ultrahigh contrast from a frequency-doubled chirped-pulse-amplification beamline Hillier et al Applied Optics 52 4258 (2013)

Overview of laser systems for the Orion facility at the AWE Hopps et al Applied Optics 52 3597 (2013)

Orion: a commissioned user facility Treadwell et al Proceedings Volume 8780, High-Power, High-Energy, and High-Intensity Laser Technology; and Research Using Extreme Light: Entering New Frontiers with Petawatt-Class Lasers; 878002 (2013)

Safe, secure & clean – routine shot operations in the Orion High Intensity Laser Facility Melton et al Proceedings of the International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC) published by the Laser Institute of America (2013)

Orion laser target diagnostics Bentley et al Review of Scientific Instruments 83 10D732 (2012)

High-Energy Bremsstrahlung Diagnostics to Characterize Hot-Electron Production in Short-Pulse Laser-Plasma Experiments Meadowcroft et al IEEE Transactions on Plasma Science 40 1992 (2012)

Overview of Project Orion Danson et al Proceedings of the 38th EPS Plasma Physics Conference, Strasburg, France (2011)

Overview of Project Orion Hopps et al Proceedings Volume 7916, High Power Lasers for Fusion Research; 79160C (2011)

Maintaining Laser Safety during commissioning of the Orion High Intensity Plasma Physics Research Facility Melton et al Proceedings of the International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC) published by the Laser Institute of America (2011)

Pulse generation and preamplification for long pulse beamlines of Orion laser facility Hillier et al Applied Optics 49 3006 (2010)

High energy and high stability optical parametric chirped pulse amplifier for seeding the petawatt beamlines of the Orion laser facility Girling et al Proceedings Volume 7721, Solid State Lasers and Amplifiers IV, and High-Power Lasers; 772122 (2010)

Welcome to the Atomic Weapons Establishment Geoff Brumfiel NATURE 464 156 (2010)

Laser Safety Management for the Orion High Intensity Laser Facility Melton et al Proceedings of the International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC) published by the Laser Institute of America (2009)

Pulsed Power System for the Orion High Power Laser Mead et al Proceedings of the 2nd Euro-Asian Pulsed Power Conference, Vilnius, Lithuania, September 22-26, 2008, Acta Physica Polonica A, Vol 115 (2009)

Project Orion – Laser Safety By Design Bett et al Proceedings of the International Laser Safety Conference (ILSC) published by the Laser Institute of America (2007)

Target diagnostics for the future AWE Orion laser facility Oades et al Review of Scientific Instruments 75 4222 (2004)