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Optical Engineering

Time-resolved wavefront measurements and analyses for a pulsed, nuclear-reactor-pumped laser gain region
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Paper Abstract

The wavefront error across a laser aperture is often the limitingfactor in laser resonator design and performance. For long-pulse, side-pumped lasers, such as some nuclear-reactor-pumped or flashlamp-pumpedlasers, significant transverse index gradients can develop and couple tothe laser resonator modes. To design a laser resonator for efficient powerextraction, a spatially and temporally resolved determination of the index variation is required. High-speed photography using a fastframing camera with a modification of the Hartmann technique is applied to measure the index field and the resulting wave front error in the gain region of a pulsed,nuclear-reactor-pumped laser. With moderate initial gas pressures, the index fields and the wavefront errors are found to have roughly parabolicshapes except near the side walls. These results are in reasonable agree-ment with the predictions of a gasdynamic model, which describes thegas motion induced by the spatial nonuniformity of the pumping.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 November 1990
PDF: 9 pages
Opt. Eng. 29(11) doi: 10.1117/12.55732
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 29, Issue 11
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel R. Neal, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
John R. Torczynski, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
William C. Sweatt, Sandia National Labs. (United States)

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