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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Path toward a high-energy solid-state laser

Paper Abstract

Lasers have come a long way since the first demonstration by Maiman of a ruby crystal laser in 1960. Lasers are used as scientific tools as well as for a wide variety of applications for both commercial industry and the military. Today lasers come in all types, shapes and sizes depending on their application. The solid-state laser has some distinct advantages in that it can be rugged, compact, and self contained, making it reliable over long periods of time. With the advent of diode laser pumping a ten times increase in overall laser efficiency has been realized. This significant event, and others, is changing the way solid-state lasers are applied and allows new possibilities. One of those new areas of exploration is the high energy laser. Solid-state lasers for welding are already developed and yield energies in the 0.5 to 6 kilojoule range. These lasers are at the forefront of what is possible in terms of high energy solid-state lasers. It is possible to achieve energies of greater than 100 kJ. These sorts of energies would allow applications, in addition to welding, such as directed energy weapons, extremely remote sensing, power transfer, propulsion, biological and chemical agent neutralization and unexploded and mine neutralization. This article will review these new advances in solid-state lasers and the different paths toward achieving a high energy laser. The advantages and challenges of each approach will be highlighted.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 September 2004
PDF: 16 pages
Proc. SPIE 5414, Laser Technologies for Defense and Security, (10 September 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.554439
Show Author Affiliations
Gary L. Wood, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Larry D. Merkle, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Mark Dubinskii, Army Research Lab. (United States)
Bahram Zandi, Army Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5414:
Laser Technologies for Defense and Security
Gary L. Wood; John M. Pellegrino, Editor(s)

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