The commissioning of the “short focal length” area of the Apollon laser facility using the presently available F2 beam, took place in May 2021 and show-cased both the very good characteristics of the laser and the operational capacity of the room. This commissioning took place with laser pulses of 10 J average on-target energy and pulse durations of 25 fs. A range of diagnostics was in place in order to qualify the performance of the facility at this level of laser power. An imager, working in X-ray range, of the zone heated by the laser on the target demonstrated a very good focusing of the laser at full power, with a heated spot of the same order as the laser spot aligned at low flux. It was possible to shoot solid targets as thin as 2 µm in thickness, without damaging them by the pedestal preceding the main pulse, which corresponds to very good temporal contrast characteristics. Emissions of electrons, ions and high energy electromagnetic radiation were recorded, showing good laser-target coupling and an overall performance that is very consistent with what have been reported by similar international facilities.
Link toward a paper detailing the results and submitted for publication.