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Proceedings Paper

Advanced pulse generator and preamplifier for the HELEN laser
Author(s): Michael J. Norman; E. J. Harvey; N. W. Hopps; J. R. Nolan; W. F. E. Smith
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Paper Abstract

A replacement for the HELEN laser has been proposed that would involve a considerable increase in performance up to 100 TW from 32 beams. The design for the new laser is to be based on the technology being developed for the US National Ignition Facility. The pulse generation and preamplification stages employ novel technologies and represent a significant departure from previous designs. As part of the laser replacement development program a pulse generator and preamplifier have been built and installed on the HELEN laser at AWE, based on those employed on the Beamlet laser physics demonstration facility at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. As well as providing experience of the technologies involved, this system represents a significant enhancement of the performance of HELEN. Initial pulses are generated by a diode-pumped Q-switched Neodymium-doped Yttrium Lithium Fluoride ring oscillator. These are then launched into optical fiber and transported to a series of two integrated optics amplitude modulators for pulse shaping. The resulting pulses are then transported by optical fibers to a ring regenerative preamplifier for amplification to a level suitable for input to the HELEN laser. We describe this system, its performance and the enhanced capabilities of the HELEN laser resulting from its installation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 December 1997
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3047, Solid State Lasers for Application to Inertial Confinement Fusion: Second Annual International Conference, (8 December 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.294280
Show Author Affiliations
Michael J. Norman, AWE plc (United Kingdom)
E. J. Harvey, AWE plc (United Kingdom)
N. W. Hopps, AWE plc (United Kingdom)
J. R. Nolan, AWE plc (United Kingdom)
W. F. E. Smith, AWE plc (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3047:
Solid State Lasers for Application to Inertial Confinement Fusion: Second Annual International Conference
Michel L. Andre, Editor(s)

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