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Proceedings Paper

Development Of CO Oxidation Catalysts For The Laser Atmospheric Wind Sounder (LAWS)
Author(s): Billy T. Upchurch; David R. Schryer; George M. Wood; Robert V. Hess
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Paper Abstract

Pulsed CO2 lasers have many remote sensing applications from space, airborne, and ground platforms. The NASA LAWS system will be designed to measure wind velocities from polar earth orbit for a period of up to three years. Accordingly, this application requires a closed-cycle pulsed CO2 laser which necessitates the use of an efficient CO-02 recombination catalyst for these dissociation products which otherwise would degrade the laser operation. The catalyst must not only operate at low temperatures but also must operate efficiently for a three year period. To minimize atmospheric absorption and enhance aerosol scatter of laser radiation, the LAWS system will operate at 9.1 micrometers with an oxygen-18 isotope CO2 lasing medium. Consequently the catalyst must preserve the isotopic integrity of the rare-isotope composition in the recombination mode. The research effort at NASA LaRC has centered around development and testing of CO oxidation catalysts for closed-cycle pulsed and common and rare-isotope CO2 lasers. We have examined available commercial catalysts both in a laser and under simulated closed-cycle laser conditions with our efforts aimed toward a thorough understanding of the fundamental catalytic reaction and have utilized these data to design experimental techniques to both better understand the mechanism and to design and synthesize new catalyst compositions to better meet the catalyst requirements for closed-cycle pulsed CO2 lasers. Catalysts have been tested continuously in excess of three months; however the long term requirements of the LAWS necessitates that life-times be projected with confidence. Our research 'demonstrates that a long-term decay of catalytic efficiency persists in currently available catalysts. In this paper we report results whereby the decay in catalytic efficiency for a recently developed catalyst was found to be significantly lower than previously available catalysts while at the same time operating quite well under ambient temperature conditions. Synthesis and mechanistic details in the development of the new catalyst composition are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 July 1989
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 1062, Laser Applications in Meteorology and Earth and Atmospheric Remote Sensing, (25 July 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.951887
Show Author Affiliations
Billy T. Upchurch, NASA/Langley Research Center (United States)
David R. Schryer, NASA/Langley Research Center (United States)
George M. Wood, NASA/Langley Research Center (United States)
Robert V. Hess, NASA/Langley Research Center (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1062:
Laser Applications in Meteorology and Earth and Atmospheric Remote Sensing
Martin M. Sokoloski, Editor(s)

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