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Sagem enables CEA’s Military Applications Division to take major step forward in the Megajoule Laser program


Paris, Sagem (Safran group) has completed the installation of the mechanical infrastructures for the “amplification section excluding amplifiers” (SAHA) in the first of four laser halls making up the Megajoule Laser* research facility.

This program milestone is part of the contract awarded to Sagem by French Atomic Energy Commission CEA (Commissariat à l’Energie Atomique) in late 2003, giving it responsibility for the design, production and integration of the SAHA sections in the Megajoule Laser.

The SAHA sections themselves comprise vary large mechanical structures and high-precision optical mechanisms manufactured and tested by Sagem. They ensure the precise alignment of the laser beams throughout their optical path and contain them within a clean environment. They will be installed in four large halls equipped with a total of 22 laser trains (176 beams), to provide the power needed for experiments.

To meet the ambitious objectives of the Megajoule Laser program, Sagem contributes its proven expertise in opto-mechanics, high-performance optics, vacuum techniques and manufacturing under ultra-clean conditions.

Sagem had already demonstrated its expertise through the production of the Laser Integration Line (LIL), used to validate the design and performance of a full-scale laser train for the Megajoule Laser.

* The Megajoule Laser program is conducted by the Military Applications Division of the CEA. It is part of the French “Simulation” program, launched following the ratification by France in 1998 of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), to enable the CEA to guarantee the long-term reliability and safety of French nuclear weapons without having to carry out nuclear tests. The first experiments are scheduled for 2014, and will continue for about 30 years. Situated at the CEA’s Barp site near Bordeaux, the Megajoule Laser is the only research facility of its kind of Europe, and is the French equivalent of the National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the United States. For more information see:

*** Sagem is a high-tech company in the SAFRAN Group. It is a world or European leader in solutions and services in optronics, avionics, electronics and critical software for the civilian and military markets. Sagem is the European No. 1 and worldwide No.3 in INSs for aeronautic, naval and land applications. It is also the worldwide No.1 in helicopter flight controls and the European No.1 in optronic and tactical UAV systems. Present across the globe via the SAFRAN Group’s international network, Sagem and its subsidiaries employ 6000 people in Europe, South East Asia and North America. For more information:

Sagem is the commercial name of the company Sagem Défense Sécurité.


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