The major XCELS tasks executed in 2016 included:

  • Development of a pilot project for the XCELS laser building.

  • Performance specifications were formulated and estimated expenditures for engineering-geodesic and engineering-geological surveys for the construction of the building were prepared.
  • A preliminary agreement was reached to use the amplification channels of the ROSATOM State Corporation in the implementation of the XCELS project.
  • The first experiments with the developed magnetic system were performed to simulate generation of plasma jets in space, new results on their propagation across the magnetic field were obtained.

In September 2015, Jean-Maurice Ripert, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of France in the Russian Federation visited the Institute of Applied Physics. The French delegation included Alexis Michel, Counselor for Science, Technology and Space of the French Embassy in Russia, and Denis Levaillant, Managing Director of Thales Optronique. Mr. Ripert met with representatives of the IAP RAS Board of Directors and leading scientists. Dr. Julien Fuchs, researcher from Ecole Polytechnique currently working at IAP RAS within the framework of one of the mega-science grant, also took part in the meeting.

Dr. Alexander Sergeev, IAP RAS Director, briefly acquainted the guests with the history of the institute, basic research activities, and most important scientific results. The French delegation also visited several research laboratories. They were especially interested in the XCELS project and expressed a hope that an international network of users will arise in the future around XCELS.

During the visit a Memorandum of Understanding was signed between IAP RAS and Thales Optronique. The parties acknowledged that the dialogue they had was constructive and helpful for consolidation of mutually beneficial cooperation between our two countries. 

In September 2015, the project CREMLIN (Connecting Russian & European Measures for Large-scale Research Infrastructures) was launched within the framework of the European program HORIZON 2020. The interest of the European Union is closely connected with XCELS and is explained by the fact that it is complementary to the European research infrastructure ELI that is one of the major projects on the road map of ESFRI. The CREMLIN project is to foster scientific cooperation between the Russian Federation and the EU in the development and scientific exploitation of large-scale research infrastructures. 13 research centers from the EU and 6 Russian institutions – participants of the project joined their efforts to form an international consortium with the intention to enhance cooperation and maximize scientific returns.

The CREMLIN kick-off meeting and opening conference were held at the National Research Center “Kurchatov Institute” in Moscow, Russia on 06-07.10.2015.

Group photo of the CREMLIN Consortium during the Kick-off Meeting in the NRC “Kurchatov Institute”, 07 October 2015

Various project-related problems, including overview and objectives, management and financial issues, exchange platform, milestones and deliverables, organization of workshops and meetings, communication and dissemination were discussed at the meeting. Also, the Consortium Board (CB) that is the ultimate decision-making body of the consortium met during the event. It was agreed that the CB meetings will take place once a year. Another CREMLIN board – Project Management Board (PMB) shall be responsible for the proper execution and implementation of the decisions of the CB will have meetings quarterly. The first meeting of the PMB was organized as a telephone conference on January 27, 2016. The main topic for discussion was the schedule of workshops and deliverables under the project. IAP RAS is expected to organize two workshops.The first one "Novel Applications of Exawatt Laser Sources" will be held on 17-23 July 2016 and the second one "Key Technological Issues in Construction and Exploitation of 100PW-class Lasers", in July 2017. Both of them are intrinsically connected with the XCELS.

Preliminary Agenda Workshop "The Laser Ascent to Subatomic Physics and Applications"

XCELS as a prospective project for international collaboration

XCELS is one of the six mega-science projects to be implemented in the territory of Russia that was chosen by the RF Government on a competitive basis in 2011. This initiative is analogous to the European Programme ESFRI aimed at establishing new research infrastructures within the framework of All-European scientific co-operation. One of the basic requirements to the Russian mega-science projects is participation in constructing and exploiting research complexes of foreign partners. The participation is understood in a wide sense, including execution of research programs, equipment of laboratories, operating costs, technology exchange, design and projection works, and so on.
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photoshots 2013

On March 19-20, 2012 the IAP RAS officials represented by academician A.G. Litvak and corresponding-member of RAS E.A. Khazanov visited France for negotiating participation of the French agencies and companies in implementation of the XCELS project. The French party that took part in the negotiations was represented by the officials of the Ministry of Education and Science of France, Ministry of Atomic Energy (CEA), THALES, HORIBA and other companies. As a result of the visit the agreement has been reached about concrete contribution of the French party to the XCELS project at the prototyping phase.

On February 26 through March 2, 2012 Prof. G. Mourou, Chair of the XCELS International Advisory Committee visited Nizhny Novgorod. The principal goal of the visit was to make up a prospective program of attracting foreign institutions to implementation of the XCELS project. The program of the official visit of IAP RAS delegation to France for negotiations concerning participation of the French party in co-financing of works on the XCELS project was prepared and approved.

On December 13-14, 2011 an international meeting on the XCELS project was held at the Institute of Applied Physics in Nizhny Novgorod. Representatives of major western research centers and laboratories who expressed a desire to participate in XCELS project implementation took part in the meeting.

Program of XCELS meeting

Based on the results of the meeting the XCELS International Advisory Committee chaired by Gerard Mourou was formed.

XCELS International Advisory Committee

The International Advisory Committee formulated a report on the XCELS project that was submitted to the RF Ministry of Education and Science and published at the web site of the project.

XCELS Report

Photoshots of XCELS meeting