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Proceedings Paper

Laser qualification testing of space optics
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Paper Abstract

Laser optics being used in space laser systems are usually exposed to high vacuum conditions under the absence of air or oxygen. In the past, several space-based laser missions have suffered from anomalous performance loss or even failure after short operation times. To mitigate the risks involved with long-term operational conditions, a laser damage test bench has been developed and is operated at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) to test laser optics in the IR, VIS, and in the UV spectral range. The testing is performed under application oriented conditions, i.e. under high-vacuum using dry pump systems. The main goal of the test campaign is to identify the critical components in terms of their laser damage threshold for very high pulse numbers applied per site. Characteristic damage curves according to ISO 11254 are evaluated for each component under investigation for up to 10 000 shots per site. The characteristic damage curves are used for the estimation of the performance at very high pulse numbers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 January 2007
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6403, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2006, 64030T (15 January 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.695222
Show Author Affiliations
Paul Allenspacher, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Wolfgang Riede, German Aerospace Ctr. (Germany)
Denny Wernham, European Space Agency/ESTEC (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6403:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2006
Gregory J. Exarhos; Arthur H. Guenther; Keith L. Lewis; Detlev Ristau; M. J. Soileau; Christopher J. Stolz, Editor(s)

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