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Proceedings Paper

Antares Automatic Beam Alignment System
Author(s): Q. Appert; T. Swann; W. Sweatt; A. Saxman
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Paper Abstract

Antares is a 24-beam-line CO2 laser system for controlled fusion research, under construction at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL). Rapid automatic alignment of this system is required prior to each experiment shot. The alignment requirements, operational constraints, and a developed prototype system are discussed. A visible avelength alignment technique is employed that uses a telescope/TV system to view point light sources appropriately located down the beamline. Auto ignment is accomplished by means of a video centroid tracker, which determines the off xis error of the point sources. The error is nulled by computer riven, movable mirrors in a closed op system. The light sources are fiber ptic terminations located at key points in the optics path, primarily at the center of large copper mirrors, and remotely illuminated to reduce heating effects. There are 2 power amplifiers, each containing 12 beams. One telescope/TV camera is needed per amplifier. The driver amplifier, power amplifier, and target system optics are coaligned to the telescope/TV camera optical axes. The final alignment to the target is accomplished with the use of a special fixture. The use of visible light for alignment, rather than infrared, requires less expensive components, gives a smaller diffraction blur, and permits more accurate pointing. The dispersion between 10.6 μm and visible light due to the NaC1 windows is measured and compensated by the control system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 31 December 1980
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 0251, Optical Alignment I, (31 December 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.959473
Show Author Affiliations
Q. Appert, University of California (United States)
T. Swann, University of California (United States)
W. Sweatt, University of California (United States)
A. Saxman, University of California (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0251:
Optical Alignment I
Richard N. Shagam; William C. Sweatt, Editor(s)

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