Description: Solid state lasers for fusion experiments must reliably deliver maximum power to small (approximately .5 mm) targets from stand-off focal distances of 1 m or more. This requirement places stringent limits upon the optical quality, resistance to damage, and overall performance of the several major components--amplifiers, Faraday isolators, spatial filters--in each amplifier train. Component development centers about achieving (1) highest functional material figure of merit, (2) best optical quality, and (3) maximum resistance to optical damage. Specific examples of the performance of large aperture components will be presented within the context of the Argus and Shiva laser systems, which are presently operational at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory. Shiva comprises twenty amplifiers, each of 20 cm output clear aperture. Terawatt beams from these amplifiers are focused through two opposed, nested clusters of f/6 lenses onto such targets. Design requirements upon the larger aperture Nova laser components, up to 35 cm in clear aperture, will also be discussed; these pose a significant challenge to the optical industry.
Date: September 13, 1978
Creator: Simmons, W.W.
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