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Proceedings Paper

Lifetime studies of an e-beam sustained CO2 laser for spaceborne Doppler wind lidar
Author(s): Paul M. Schwarzenberger; Steven Wallace; R. J. Robinson; David V. Willetts; Michael R. Harris; Errico Armandillo; Callum J. Norrie
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Paper Abstract

The European Space Agency program for Development of a CO2 Laser for Spaceborne Doppler Wind Lidar Applications addresses both performance and lifetime aspects. Lifetime issues are of particular importance due to the 109 pulse life requirement for a spaceborne laser operating continuously at 10 Hz for a period of three years. Particularly critical lifetime issues for an e-beam sustained laser have been identified as the electron transmitting metal foil separating the electron gun and the laser, and the gas life. Four areas of study have been undertaken to address the foil and gas lifetime issues: Parametric Study of Gaseous Catalysis to determine the range of operating conditions under which oxidation of CO by high energy electrons can be expected to offset dissociation of CO2, thus eliminating the need for solid catalyst. Extended Sealed Runs to demonstrate long life in a representative laser system of the actual size required. Several runs of 107 pulses, and one run of 6.5 X 107 pulses, have been performed. The Foil Thermal Profile has been monitored using a pyroelectric vidicon camera to determine the maximum temperature reached by different candidate foil materials under representative conditions. High Temperature Foil Fatigue tests of 109 pulses have been carried out to simulate the effect of the laser pressure pulse, by performing fatigue tests on foil materials at high temperature.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 December 1994
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 2310, Lidar Techniques for Remote Sensing, (9 December 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.195864
Show Author Affiliations
Paul M. Schwarzenberger, GEC Hirst Research Ctr. (United Kingdom)
Steven Wallace, GEC Hirst Research Ctr. (United Kingdom)
R. J. Robinson, GEC Hirst Research Ctr. (United Kingdom)
David V. Willetts, Defense Research Agency Malvern (United Kingdom)
Michael R. Harris, Defense Research Agency Malvern (United Kingdom)
Errico Armandillo, European Space Agency/ESTEC (Netherlands)
Callum J. Norrie, European Space Agency/ESTEC (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2310:
Lidar Techniques for Remote Sensing
Christian Werner, Editor(s)

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