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Proceedings Paper

Long range laser propagation: power scaling and beam quality issues
Author(s): Willy L. Bohn
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Paper Abstract

This paper will address long range laser propagation applications where power and, in particular beam quality issues play a major role. Hereby the power level is defined by the specific mission under consideration. I restrict myself to the following application areas: (1)Remote sensing/Space based LIDAR, (2) Space debris removal (3)Energy transmission, and (4)Directed energy weapons Typical examples for space based LIDARs are the ADM Aeolus ESA mission using the ALADIN Nd:YAG laser with its third harmonic at 355 nm and the NASA 2 μm Tm:Ho:LuLiF convectively cooled solid state laser. Space debris removal has attracted more attention in the last years due to the dangerous accumulation of debris in orbit which become a threat to the satellites and the ISS space station. High power high brightness lasers may contribute to this problem by partially ablating the debris material and hence generating an impulse which will eventually de-orbit the debris with their subsequent disintegration in the lower atmosphere. Energy transmission via laser beam from space to earth has long been discussed as a novel long term approach to solve the energy problem on earth. In addition orbital transfer and stationkeeping are among the more mid-term applications of high power laser beams. Finally, directed energy weapons are becoming closer to reality as corresponding laser sources have matured due to recent efforts in the JHPSSL program. All of this can only be realized if he laser sources fulfill the necessary power requirements while keeping the beam quality as close as possible to the diffraction limited value. And this is the rationale and motivation of this paper.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 November 2010
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 7751, XVIII International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers, 775127 (15 November 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.878606
Show Author Affiliations
Willy L. Bohn, BohnLaser Consult (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7751:
XVIII International Symposium on Gas Flow, Chemical Lasers, and High-Power Lasers
Tanja Dreischuh; Petar A. Atanasov; Nikola V. Sabotinov, Editor(s)

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