SPARC and SPARX are two different initiatives toward an Italian Free Electron Laser (FEL) source operating in the Self Amplified Spontaneous Emission (SASE) mode, in which several national research institutions are involved. SPARC is a high gain FEL project devoted to provide a source of visible and VUV radiation while exploiting the SASE mechanism. An advanced Photo-Injector system, emittance compensating RF-gun plus a 150 MeV Linac, will inject a high quality e-beam into the undulator to generate high brilliance FEL radiation in the visible region at the fundamental wavelength, (∼500 nm). The production of flat top drive laser beams, high peak current bunches, and emittance compensation scheme will be investigated together with the generation of higher harmonic radiation in the VUV region. SPARX is the direct evolution of such a high gain SASE FEL toward the 13.5 and 1.5 nm operating wavelengths, at 2.5 GeV. To get the required value for the bunch peak current, Ipeak ≈ 2.5 kA, the “hybrid” scheme, RF-compression stage plus magnetic chicane, is analyzed and compared with the more standard double stage of magnetic compression. The two options are reviewed considering the tolerance to the drive laser pulse phase jitter.
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