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Proceedings Paper

Engineering Aspects Of Long Pulse CO[sub]2[/sub] Lasers Employing Plasma Discharge Electrodes
Author(s): R. A. Petr; M. J. Yoder; R. B. Schaefer
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Paper Abstract

We report on an experimental long pulse CO2 laser (25uS at 100) that employed two plasma electrodes and an impedance-matched external sustainer pulser to preionize and electrically pump the CO2 laser mixture. The plasma electrodes, each measuring 7cm wide by 100cm long, were struck on by a 1011 V/S voltage trigger wavefront, and were found to have a uniform arc distribution along the electrodes in argon, but showed severe arc striations in CO2 mixtures. These striations resulted in non-uniform laser preionization, which in turn caused the sustainer discharge to constrict. Consequently the active laser volume was not pumped uniformly and the system did not lase. However, the CO2 discharge did not collapse into a low-impedance arc at energy loading greater than 350 J/1-atm and 25uS pulse duration, indicating that by improving the arc uniformity on the plasma electrodes, this approach can be useful for high energy, long pulse lasers. Finally, important engineering issues like system life, and size and weight scaling for the plasma electrode CO2 laser are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 10 April 1989
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 1046, Pulse Power for Lasers II, (10 April 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.951343
Show Author Affiliations
R. A. Petr, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
M. J. Yoder, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
R. B. Schaefer, W.J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1046:
Pulse Power for Lasers II
Tom R. Burkes; G. Glen McDuff, Editor(s)

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