Optical alignment techniques for line-imaging velocity interferometry and line-imaging self-emission of targets at the National Ignition Facility (NIF)

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The National Ignition Facility (NIF) requires optical diagnostics for measuring shock velocities in shock physics experiments. The nature of the NIF facility requires the alignment of complex three-dimensional optical systems of very long distances. Access to the alignment mechanisms can be limited, and any alignment system must be operator friendly. The Velocity Interferometer System for Any Reflector (VISAR) measures shock velocities, shock breakout times, and emission of 1- to 5-mm targets at a location remote to the NIF target chamber. Three optical systems using the same vacuum chamber port each have a total track of 21 m. All optical lenses ... continued below

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Malone, Robert; Celeste, John; Celliers, Peter; Frogget, Brent; Robert Guyton,,; Kaufman, Morris et al. August 1, 2007.

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The National Ignition Facility (NIF) requires optical diagnostics for measuring shock velocities in shock physics experiments. The nature of the NIF facility requires the alignment of complex three-dimensional optical systems of very long distances. Access to the alignment mechanisms can be limited, and any alignment system must be operator friendly. The Velocity Interferometer System for Any Reflector (VISAR) measures shock velocities, shock breakout times, and emission of 1- to 5-mm targets at a location remote to the NIF target chamber. Three optical systems using the same vacuum chamber port each have a total track of 21 m. All optical lenses are on kinematic mounts or sliding rails, enabling pointing accuracy of the optical axis to be checked. Counter-propagating laser beams (orange and red) align these diagnostics to a listing of tolerances. Movable aperture cards, placed before and after lens groups, show the spread of alignment spots created by the orange and red alignment lasers. Optical elements include 1-in. to 15-in. diameter mirrors, lenses with up to 10.5-in. diameters, beamsplitters, etalons, dove prisms, filters, and pellicles. Alignment of more than 75 optical elements must be verified before each target shot. Archived images from eight alignment cameras prove proper alignment before each shot.

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  • 2007 SPIE Optics and Photonics Conference; San Diego, CA; August 26-30, 2007

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  • Report No.: DOE/NV/25946--255
  • Grant Number: DE-AC52-06NA25946
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 934691
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc902214

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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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  • August 1, 2007

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  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 8:28 p.m.

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Malone, Robert; Celeste, John; Celliers, Peter; Frogget, Brent; Robert Guyton,,; Kaufman, Morris et al. Optical alignment techniques for line-imaging velocity interferometry and line-imaging self-emission of targets at the National Ignition Facility (NIF), article, August 1, 2007; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc902214/: accessed April 26, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.