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Proceedings Paper

Optical alignment techniques for line-imaging velocity interferometry and line-imaging self-emission of targets at the National Ignition Facility (NIF)
Author(s): Robert M. Malone; John R. Celeste; Peter M. Celliers; Brent C. Frogget; Robert L. Guyton; Morris I. Kaufman; Tony L. Lee; Brian J. MacGowan; Edmund W. Ng; Imants P. Reinbachs; Ronald B. Robinson; Thomas W. Tunnell; Phillip W. Watts
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Paper Abstract

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) requires optical diagnostics for measuring shock velocities in shock physics experiments. The nature of the NIF facility requires the alignment of complex three-dimensional optical systems of very long distances. Access to the alignment mechanisms can be limited, and any alignment system must be operator-friendly. The Velocity Interferometer System for Any Reflector (VISAR) measures shock velocities and shock breakout times of 1- to 5-mm targets at a location remote to the NIF target chamber. A third imaging system measures self-emission of the targets. These three optical systems using the same vacuum chamber port each have a total track of 21 m. All optical lenses are on kinematic mounts or sliding rails, enabling pointing accuracy of the optical axis to be systematically checked. Counter-propagating laser beams (orange and red) align these diagnostics to a listing of tolerances. Floating apertures, placed before and after lens groups, display misalignment by showing the spread of alignment spots created by the orange and red alignment lasers. Optical elements include 1-in. to 15-in. diameter mirrors, lenses with up to 10.5-in. diameters, beam splitters, etalons, dove prisms, filters, and pellicles. Alignment of more than 75 optical elements must be verified before each target shot. Archived images from eight alignment cameras prove proper alignment is achieved before each shot.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 September 2007
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 6676, Optical System Alignment and Tolerancing, 667608 (21 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.731639
Show Author Affiliations
Robert M. Malone, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
John R. Celeste, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Peter M. Celliers, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Brent C. Frogget, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Robert L. Guyton, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Morris I. Kaufman, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Tony L. Lee, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Brian J. MacGowan, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Edmund W. Ng, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Imants P. Reinbachs, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Ronald B. Robinson, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)
Thomas W. Tunnell, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)
Phillip W. Watts, National Security Technologies, LLC (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6676:
Optical System Alignment and Tolerancing
José M. Sasian; Mitchell C. Ruda, Editor(s)

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