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Proceedings Paper

Cleanliness and damage measurements of optics in atmospheric-sensing high-energy lasers
Author(s): Gale A. Harvey; Thomas H. Chyba; Marc C. Cimolino
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Paper Abstract

Langley Research Center has several atmospheric remote sensing programs which utilize high energy pulsed lasers. These lasers typically have many damaged optics after several million shots. Damage is defined herein as color changes and/or optical flaws seen in microscopic inspection, and does not necessarily relate to measured performance degradation of the optic. Inspections and measurements of some of these optics indicate that energy thresholds for several million shots damage is about an order of magnitude lower than that for single shot damage. Damage initiation is often at micron size areas at the coating interface, which grows and sometimes develops as erosion of the top of the coating. There is a wide range in polish and coating quality of new optics, even on different faces of the same optic. Military Standard 1246C can be used to provide overall particulate, and molecular film, or nonvolatile residue cleanliness scales. Microscopic inspections and photography at 10X to 500X with brightfield (perpendicular) and darkfield (oblique) illumination are useful in assigning cleanliness levels of new and in-service optics. Microextraction (effecting concentration of molecular films to small areas) provides for enhanced optical detection and surface film chemical analysis by electron-microscope energy-dispersive-spectroscopy. Similar measurement techniques can be used to characterize and document optical damage initiation and optical damage growth. Surface contamination interferes with and complicated measurements of polish and coating quality, and of optical damage. Our work indicates ultrasonic cleaning, and packaging of optics in Teflon sleeves or cups is advantageous over conventional cleaning and packaging for characterization of new optics.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 May 1996
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2714, 27th Annual Boulder Damage Symposium: Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1995, (27 May 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.240347
Show Author Affiliations
Gale A. Harvey, NASA Langley Research Ctr. (United States)
Thomas H. Chyba, Hampton Univ. (United States)
Marc C. Cimolino, Cygnus Laser Corp. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2714:
27th Annual Boulder Damage Symposium: Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 1995
Harold E. Bennett; Arthur H. Guenther; Mark R. Kozlowski; Brian Emerson Newnam; M. J. Soileau, Editor(s)

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