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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 limiting factor in laser resonator design and performance. For long-pulse, sidepumped lasers, such as some nuclear-reactor-pumped or flashlamp-pumped lasers, significant transverse index gradients can develop and couple to the laser resonator modes. To design a laser resonator for efficient power extraction, 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 wavefront 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 parabolic shapes except near the side walls. These results are in reasonable agreement with the predictions of a gasdynamic model, which describes the gas 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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