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Proceedings Paper

Recent improvements to the Nova laser
Author(s): Howard T. Powell
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Paper Abstract

We have recently made several improvements to the Nova laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory to enhance its capability for conducting research on both the indirect- drive and direct-drive approaches to inertial confinement fusion (ICF). For indirect-drive ICF, we have been working on the Precision Nova project to increase the ten beam output at the third-harmonic wavelength (0.351 micrometers ) to 40 kJ (30 TW power), to obtain instantaneous power balance to 5 - 10% among the beams, and to improve the centroid pointing precision on target to 30 micrometers rms. This paper discusses improvements to the frequency converters and the use of spectral chirp to reach the goals for the energy and power levels. It also discuses our power balancing technique, diagnostics capabilities, and the status of the beam pointing improvements. For direct drive studies, we have implemented on a single beam, 80 cm diameter random phase plates and a version of smoothing by spectral dispersion to achieve a smooth beam at the second harmonic wavelength (0.527 micrometers ). The phase plates were fabricated by a unique sol-gel process and our temporal smoothing technique utilizes a special cross-phase-modulation oscillator. We report the smoothing levels and smoothing rates that we have achieved and briefly discuss the target physics research being done with this smoothed beam.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 May 1993
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 1979, 1992 International Conference on Lasers and Optoelectronics, (11 May 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.144101
Show Author Affiliations
Howard T. Powell, Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1979:
1992 International Conference on Lasers and Optoelectronics
Sui-Sheng Mei; Bingkun Zhou, Editor(s)

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