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Proceedings Paper

Wavefront control of high-power laser beams in the National Ignition Facility (NIF)
Author(s): Richard A. Zacharias; Erlan S. Bliss; Scott Winters; Richard A. Sacks; Mark Feldman; Andrew Grey; Jeffrey A. Koch; Christopher J. Stolz; John S. Toeppen; Lewis Van Atta; Bruce W. Woods
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Paper Abstract

The use of lasers as the driver for inertial confinement fusion and weapons physics experiments is based on their ability to produce high-energy short pulses in a beam with low divergence. Indeed, the focusability of high quality laser beams far exceeds alternate technologies and is a major factor in the rationale for building high power lasers for such applications. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a large, 192-beam, high-power laser facility under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for fusion and weapons physics experiments. Its uncorrected minimum focal spot size is limited by laser system aberrations. The NIF includes a Wavefront Control System to correct these aberrations to yield a focal spot small enough for its applications. Sources of aberrations to be corrected include prompt pump-induced distortions in the laser amplifiers, previous-shot thermal distortions, beam off-axis effects, and gravity, mounting, and coating-induced optic distortions. Aberrations from gas density variations and optic-manufacturing figure errors are also partially corrected. This paper provides an overview of the NIF Wavefront Control System and describes the target spot size performance improvement it affords. It describes provisions made to accommodate the NIF's high fluence (laser beam and flashlamp), large wavefront correction range, wavefront temporal bandwidth, temperature and humidity variations, cleanliness requirements, and exception handling requirements (e.g. wavefront out-of-limits conditions).

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 April 2000
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3889, Advanced High-Power Lasers, (3 April 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.380902
Show Author Affiliations
Richard A. Zacharias, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Erlan S. Bliss, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Scott Winters, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Richard A. Sacks, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Mark Feldman, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Andrew Grey, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Jeffrey A. Koch, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Christopher J. Stolz, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
John S. Toeppen, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Lewis Van Atta, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Bruce W. Woods, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3889:
Advanced High-Power Lasers
Marek Osinski; Howard T. Powell; Koichi Toyoda, Editor(s)

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