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Proceedings Paper

Optical Quality Of Pulsed Aerodynamic Laser Windows
Author(s): V. A. Kulkarny; J. Shwartz; R. A. Briones
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Paper Abstract

Aerodynamic windows utilize gas flows to provide pressure and gas species isolation interfaces which are transparent to laser radiation. The feasibility of using a shock tube generated pulsed flow field as a single-shot window for short, high-energy laser pulses was investigated. A primary application of such a window would be for the single pulse gas laser driven inertial confinement fusion test facility currently planned by DoE. Experiments were performed to define operating conditions which cause a minimal degradation in the quality of a laser beam transmitted through the window. In the experiments a scribed dia-phragm shock tube with glass endwalls was used to simulate the window, and a ruby laser pulse was transmitted along the tube axis after the diaphragm burst. The optical quality of the nearly one-dimensional pressure wave field and the turbulent contact interface was recorded holographically at different delay times for a variety of pressures and gas compositions in the driver and driven sections of the shock tube. Interferograms were interpreted using digital techniques to determine beam quality degredations. A beam quality of 1.33, at the ruby laser wavelength, was routinely obtained after transmission through the window flow-field. This performance is more than adequate to meet the laser fusion requirements.

Paper Details

Date Published: 30 December 1981
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0288, Los Alamos Conf on Optics '81, (30 December 1981); doi: 10.1117/12.932032
Show Author Affiliations
V. A. Kulkarny, TRW Defense and Space Systems Group (United States)
J. Shwartz, TRW Defense and Space Systems Group (United States)
R. A. Briones, TRW Defense and Space Systems Group (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0288:
Los Alamos Conf on Optics '81
Donald H. Liebenberg, Editor(s)

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