Hidra is a multi-stage, chirped pulse amplifier consisting of a grating-based pulse stretcher, regenerative amplifier for first-stage amplification, one or more power amplifier stages, followed by a grating-based pulse compressor. With its flexible platform design and a selection of lamp-pumped and diode-pumped solid-state lasers for pumping, all Hidra configurations are upgradable to higher performance.
Two standard pumping configurations are available:10Hz-only or hybrid pumping. In 10Hz-only pumping the entire amplifier (regenerative plus multipass) is pumped by a single 10Hz lamp-pumped Nd:YAG laser. In hybrid pumping the regenerative amplifier is pumped with an Evolution diode-pumped kHz Nd:YLF laser and the multipass stage(s) are pumped with a lamp-pumped 10Hz Nd:YAG laser. The main advantage of hybrid pumping is improved stability.
The pulse compressor for the 25mJ and 50mJ Hidra systems is contained within the Hidra enclosure. For the 100 mJ Hidra the pulse compressor is a separate unit. This external compressor for the Hidra-100 is also available with vacuum-compatible mounts as an option. This version requires users to mount the entire compressor inside their own vacuum enclosure to simplify delivery of the terawatt pulses to the experiment.