Wavefront control of high power laser beams for the National Ignition Facility (NIF)

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The use of lasers as the driver for inertial confinement fusion and weapons physics experiments is based on their ability to produce high-energy short pulses in a beam with low divergence. Indeed, the focus ability of high quality laser beams far exceeds alternate technologies and is a major factor in the rationale for building high power lasers for such applications. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a large, 192-beam, high-power laser facility under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for fusion and weapons physics experiments. Its uncorrected minimum focal spot size is limited by laser system aberrations. The NIF ... continued below

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Bliss, E; Feldman, M; Grey, A; Koch, J; Lund, L; Sacks, R et al. September 22, 1999.

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The use of lasers as the driver for inertial confinement fusion and weapons physics experiments is based on their ability to produce high-energy short pulses in a beam with low divergence. Indeed, the focus ability of high quality laser beams far exceeds alternate technologies and is a major factor in the rationale for building high power lasers for such applications. The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is a large, 192-beam, high-power laser facility under construction at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory for fusion and weapons physics experiments. Its uncorrected minimum focal spot size is limited by laser system aberrations. The NIF includes a Wavefront Control System to correct these aberrations to yield a focal spot small enough for its applications. Sources of aberrations to be corrected include prompt pump-induced distortions in the laser amplifiers, previous-shot thermal distortions, beam off-axis effects, and gravity, mounting, and coating-induced optic distortions. Aberrations from gas density variations and optic manufacturing figure errors are also partially corrected. This paper provides an overview of the NIF Wavefront Control System and describes the target spot size performance improvement it affords. It describes provisions made to accommodate the NIF's high fluence (laser beam and flashlamp), large wavefront correction range, wavefront temporal bandwidth, temperature and humidity variations, cleanliness requirements, and exception handling requirements (e.g. wavefront out-of-limits conditions).

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1.9 Megabytes pages

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  • International Forum on Advanced High-Power Lasers and Applications, Osaka (JP), 11/01/1999--11/05/1999

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  • Report No.: UCRL-JC-133561
  • Report No.: 39DP02000
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-48
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 14482
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc622212

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • September 22, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • May 6, 2016, 2:11 p.m.

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Bliss, E; Feldman, M; Grey, A; Koch, J; Lund, L; Sacks, R et al. Wavefront control of high power laser beams for the National Ignition Facility (NIF), article, September 22, 1999; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc622212/: accessed October 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.