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Proceedings Paper

Very high coupling coefficients at low laser fluence with a structured target
Author(s): Claude R. Phipps; Daniel B. Seibert II; Robert W. Royse; Gregory King; Jonathan W. Campbell
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Paper Abstract

Results are presented of the first measurements of laser-ablation impulse on structured targets of the modified Fabbro type in which impulse coupling coefficients Cm up to 500 dyne-s/J were obtained for 85-ns duration laser pulses by direct measurement with momentum pendula. Our target design generated these Cm values for single-pulse laser fluence of 1.2 J/cm2 and peak intensity 14 MW/cm2, an order of magnitude below the intensity at which similar coupling has been observed before. This result is important for the ORION demonstration, since it effectively closes a factor- of-20 deficit between presently available projected intensity at 300 km range and the intensity required for optimum coupling to standard materials. The Nd:glass laser employed in these measurements had 1.05 micrometer wavelength and pulse duration from 25 to 100 ns. Ambient pressure was less than 10 millitorr. Impulse coupling data on water ice, stone, carbon phenolic, PMMA and other materials were also obtained, for cross-calibration and because of interest in applications to 'uncooperative' natural bodies in space. We discuss the significance of these results for planning a laser propulsion demonstration in space, as well as possible extensions which could yield appropriate Cm for repetitively- pulsed propulsion of objects into low Earth orbit (LEO).

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 August 2000
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4065, High-Power Laser Ablation III, (16 August 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.407330
Show Author Affiliations
Claude R. Phipps, Photonic Associates Inc. (United States)
Daniel B. Seibert II, Anteon Corp. (United States)
Robert W. Royse, Anteon Corp. (United States)
Gregory King, Anteon Corp. (United States)
Jonathan W. Campbell, NASA Marshall Space Flight Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4065:
High-Power Laser Ablation III
Claude R. Phipps, Editor(s)

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