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Proceedings Paper

Short pulse development and debris mitigation studies for the HELEN laser
Author(s): James E. Andrew
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Paper Abstract

AWE has operated lasers for studying the properties of materials at high temperatures and pressures since the early 1970s [1]. A brief review of those facilities will be given along with a description of the changes to HELEN in the period 2003 - 2005 to enable it to provide both chirped pulse amplification [CPA] pulses and nanosecond pulses to laser targets simultaneously. The CPA beam is now giving laser pulses of typically 70 Joules in 500 femtoseconds. As a necessary part of operating such a system it has been necessary to study how laser-target debris is distributed from both long and short pulse interactions so that the contamination or degradation of focussing optics during operational activities is minimised. The short pulse experiments and the characteristics of debris fields emanating from laser targets will be described. Damage thresholds were established for coated and uncoated debris shields with millimetre to centimetre size beams. Future developments of the laser facilities at AWE in this decade will also be described as well as possible debris mitigation options that may be employed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 February 2006
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5991, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2005, 59911K (7 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.638028
Show Author Affiliations
James E. Andrew, AWE plc (United Kingdom)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5991:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2005
Gregory J. Exarhos; Arthur H. Guenther; Keith L. Lewis; Detlev Ristau; M.J. Soileau; Christopher J. Stolz, Editor(s)

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