Share Email Print
cover

Proceedings Paper

DOE reactor-pumped laser program
Author(s): James R. Felty; Ronald J. Lipinski; David A. McArthur; Paul S. Pickard
Format Member Price Non-Member Price
PDF $14.40 $18.00

Paper Abstract

FALCON is a high-power, steady-state, nuclear reactor-pumped laser (RPL) concept that is being developed by the Department of Energy. The FALCON program has experimentally demonstrated reactor-pumped lasing in various mixtures of xenon, argon, neon, and helium at wavelengths of 585, 703, 725, 1271, 1733, 1792, 2032, 2630, 2650, and 3370 nm with intrinsic efficiency as high as 2.5%. The major strengths of a reactor-pumped laser are continuous high-power operation, modular construction, self-contained power, compact size, and a variety of wavelengths (from visible to infrared). These characteristics suggest numerous applications not easily accessible to other laser types. A ground-based RPL could beam its power to space for such activities as illuminating geosynchronous communication satellites in the earth's shadow to extend their lives, beaming power to orbital transfer vehicles, removing space debris, and providing power (from earth) to a lunar base during the long lunar night. The compact size and self-contained power also makes an RPL very suitable for ship basing so that power-beaming activities could be situated around the globe. The continuous high power of an RPL opens many potential manufacturing applications such as deep-penetration welding and cutting of thick structures, wide-area hardening of metal surfaces by heat treatment or cladding application, wide-area vapor deposition of ceramics onto metal surfaces, production of sub-micron sized particles for manufacturing of ceramics, wide-area deposition of diamond- like coatings, and 3-D ceramic lithography.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 May 1994
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2121, Laser Power Beaming, (1 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.174169
Show Author Affiliations
James R. Felty, Dept. of Energy (United States)
Ronald J. Lipinski, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
David A. McArthur, Sandia National Labs. (United States)
Paul S. Pickard, Sandia National Labs. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2121:
Laser Power Beaming
Jack V. Walker; Edward E. Montgomery, Editor(s)

© SPIE. Terms of Use
Back to Top