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Adaptive Optics Views of the Hubble Deep Fields Final report on LLNL LDRD Project 03-ERD-002

Description: We used laser guide star adaptive optics at the Lick and Keck Observatories to study active galactic nuclei and galaxies, with emphasis on those in the early Universe. The goals were to observe large galaxies like our own Milky Way in the process of their initial assembly from sub-components, to identify central active galactic nuclei due to accreting black holes in galaxy cores, and to measure rates of star formation and evolution in galaxies. In the distant universe our focus was on the GOODS and GEMS fields (regions in the Northern and Southern sky that include the Hubble Deep Fields) as well as the Extended Groth Strip and COSMOS fields. Each of these parts of the sky has been intensively studied at multiple wavelengths by the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-Ray Observatory, the XMM Space Telescope, the Spitzer Space Telescope, and several ground-based telescopes including the Very Large Array radio interferometer, in order to gain an unbiased view of a significant statistical sample of galaxies in the early universe.
Date: February 17, 2007
Creator: Max, C E; Gavel, D; Pennington, D; Gibbard, S; van Dam, M; Larkin, J et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Sonoma Persistent Surveillance System

Description: Sonoma offers the first cost-effective, broad-area, high-resolution, real-time motion imagery system for surveillance applications. Sonoma is unique in its ability to provide continuous, real-time video imagery of an area the size of a small city with resolutions sufficient to track 8,000 moving objects in the field of view. At higher resolutions and over smaller areas, Sonoma can even track the movement of individual people. The visual impact of the data available from Sonoma is already causing a paradigm shift in the architecture and operation of other surveillance systems. Sonoma is expected to cost just one-tenth the price of comparably sized sensor systems. Cameras mounted on an airborne platform constantly monitor an area, feeding data to the ground for real-time analysis. Sonoma was designed to provide real-time data for actionable intelligence in situations such as monitoring traffic, special events, border security, and harbors. If a Sonoma system had been available in the aftermath of the Katrina and Rita hurricanes, emergency responders would have had real-time information on roads, water levels, and traffic conditions, perhaps saving many lives.
Date: March 24, 2006
Creator: Pennington, D M
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Multi-watt 589nm fiber laser source

Description: We have demonstrated 3.5W of 589nm light from a fiber laser using periodically poled stoichiometric Lithium Tantalate (PPSLT) as the frequency conversion crystal. The system employs 938nm and 1583nm fiber lasers, which were sum-frequency mixed in PPSLT to generate 589nm light. The 938nm fiber laser consists of a single frequency diode laser master oscillator (200mW), which was amplified in two stages to >15W using cladding pumped Nd{sup 3+} fiber amplifiers. The fiber amplifiers operate at 938nm and minimize amplified spontaneous emission at 1088nm by employing a specialty fiber design, which maximizes the core size relative to the cladding diameter. This design allows the 3-level laser system to operate at high inversion, thus making it competitive with the competing 1088nm 4-level laser transition. At 15W, the 938nm laser has an M{sup 2} of 1.1 and good polarization (correctable with a quarter and half wave plate to >15:1). The 1583nm fiber laser consists of a Koheras 1583nm fiber DFB laser that is pre-amplified to 100mW, phase modulated and then amplified to 14W in a commercial IPG fiber amplifier. As a part of our research efforts we are also investigating pulsed laser formats and power scaling of the 589nm system. We will discuss the fiber laser design and operation as well as our results in power scaling at 589nm.
Date: January 19, 2006
Creator: Dawson, J. W.; Drobshoff, A. D.; Beach, R. J.; Messerly, M. J.; Payne, S. A.; Brown A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

An Overview of High Energy Short Pulse Technology for Advanced Radiography of Laser Fusion Experiments

Description: The technical challenges and motivations for high-energy, short-pulse generation with NIF-class, Nd:glass laser systems are reviewed. High energy short pulse generation (multi-kilojoule, picosecond pulses) will be possible via the adaptation of chirped pulse amplification laser techniques on the NIF. Development of meter-scale, high efficiency, high-damage-threshold final optics is a key technical challenge. In addition, deployment of HEPW pulses on NIF is constrained by existing laser infrastructure and requires new, compact compressor designs and short-pulse, fiber-based, seed-laser systems. The key motivations for high energy petawatt pulses on NIF is briefly outlined and includes high-energy, x-ray radiography, proton beam radiography, proton isochoric heating and tests of the fast ignitor concept for inertial confinement fusion.
Date: June 18, 2004
Creator: Barty, C J; Key, M; Britten, J; Beach, R; Beer, G; Brown, C et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Precision short-pulse damage test station utilizing optical parametric chirped-pulse amplification

Description: The next generation of high-energy petawatt (HEPW)-class lasers will utilize multilayer dielectric diffraction gratings for pulse compression, due to their high efficiency and high damage threshold for picosecond pulses. The peak power of HEPW lasers will be determined by the aperture and damage threshold of the final dielectric grating in the pulse compressor and final focusing optics. We have developed a short-pulse damage test station for accurate determination of the damage threshold of the optics used on future HEPW lasers. Our damage test station is based on a highly stable, high-beam-quality optical parametric chirped-pulse amplifier (OPCPA) operating at 1053 nm at a repetition rate of 10 Hz. We present the design of our OPCPA system pumped by a commercial Q-switched pump laser and the results of the full system characterization. Initial short-pulse damage experiments in the far field using our system have been performed.
Date: March 22, 2004
Creator: Jovanovic, I; Brown, C; Wattellier, B; Nielsen, N; Molander, W; Stuart, B et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Potential of Fast Ignition and Related Experiments with A Petawatt Laser Facility

Description: A model of energy gain induced by fast ignition of thermonuclear burn in compressed deuterium-tritium fuel, is used to show the potential for 300x gain with a driver energy of 1 M J, if the National Ignition Facility (NIF) were to be adapted for fast ignition. The physics of fast ignition has been studied using a petawatt laser facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Laser plasma interaction in a preformed plasma on a solid target leads to relativistic self-focusing evidenced by x-ray images. Absorption of the laser radiation transfers energy to an intense source of relativistic electrons. Good conversion efficiency into a wide angular distribution is reported. Heating by the electrons in solid density CD{sub 2} produces 0.5 to 1/keV temperature, inferred from the D-D thermo-nuclear neutron yield.
Date: April 6, 2000
Creator: Key, M.H.; Campbell, E.M.; Cowan, T.E.; Hatchett, S.P.; Henry, E.A.; Koch, J.A. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Energetic Proton Generation in Ultra-Intense Laser-Solid Interactions

Description: An explanation for the energetic ions observed in the PetaWatt experiments is presented. In solid target experiments with focused intensities exceeding 10{sup 20} W/cm{sup 2}, high-energy electron generation, hard bremsstrahlung, and energetic protons have been observed on the backside of the target. In this report, we attempt to explain the physical process present that will explain the presence of these energetic protons, as well as explain the number, energy, and angular spread of the protons observed in experiment. In particular, we hypothesize that hot electrons produced on the front of the target are sent through to the back off the target, where they ionize the hydrogen layer there. These ions are then accelerated by the hot electron cloud, to tens of MeV energies in distances of order tens of microns, whereupon they end up being detected in the radiographic and spectrographic detectors.
Date: March 1, 2000
Creator: Wilks, S.C.; Langdon, A.B.; Cowan, T.E.; Roth, M.; Singh, M.; Hatchett, S. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Laser Research and Development Studies for Laser Guide Star Systems

Description: In this paper we consider two CW solid state laser approaches to a 589 nm LGS system. Both are based on the technique of sum-frequency generation, but differ in the cavity architecture. Both technologies are very promising and are worth of further consideration. This preliminary proposal is intended to encompass both designs. A down select shall be performed early in the project execution to focus on the most promising option. The two design options consist of: (1) A dual-frequency resonator with intra-cavity doubling in LB0 offers the promise of a simple architecture and may scale more easily to high power. This design has been shown to be highly reliable, efficient and high power when used in frequency-doubled Nd:YAG lasers for programs at LLNL and in commercial products. The challenge in this design is the demonstration of a high power13 18 nm oscillator with adequate suppression of the 1064 nm line. (2) A MOPA based design uses commercial low power oscillators to produce both wavelengths, then amplifies the wavelengths before doubling. This design requires the demonstration of a 1318 nm amplifier, though the design is scaled from a kW CW amplifier already delivered to a customer at a different wavelength. The design must also demonstrate high power scaling of sum-frequency generation in the relatively new nonlinear material, PPLN. The first step in the process would be to further evaluate the two conceptual options for technical feasibility, cost and constructability. Then a down selection to one design would be conducted. Finally, R&D on that design would then proceed. Minimal testing should be required for this selection. The majority of the funding received would be allocated to development of the design selected.
Date: February 23, 2000
Creator: Pennington, D.; Beach, R.; Ebbers, C.; Erbert, G.; Nguyen, H.; Page, R. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Electron, Photon, and Ion Beams from the Relativistic Interaction of Petawatt Laser Pulses with Solid Targets

Description: In our Petawatt laser experiments several hundred joules of 1 {micro}m laser light in 0.5-5.0 ps pulses with intensities up to 3 x 10{sup 20}Wcm{sup -2} were incident on solid targets producing a strongly relativistic interaction. The energy content, spectra, and angular patterns of the photon, electron, and ion radiations were diagnosed in a number of ways, including several novel (to laser physics) nuclear activation techniques. From the beamed bremsstrahlung we infer that about 40-50% of the laser energy is converted to broadly beamed hot electrons. Their direction centroid varies from shot to shot, but the beam has a consistent width. Extraordinarily luminous ion beams almost precisely normal to the rear of various targets are seen--up to 3 x 10{sup 13} protons with kT{sub ion} {approx} several MeV representing {approx}6% of the laser energy. We observe ion energies up to at least 55 MeV. The ions appear to originate from the rear target surfaces. The edge of the ion beam is very sharp, and collimation increases with ion energy. At the highest energies, a narrow feature appears in the ion spectra, and the apparent size of the emitting spot is smaller than the full back surface area. Any ion emission from the front of the targets is much less than from the rear and is not sharply beamed. The hot electrons generate a Debye sheath with electrostatic fields of order MV per micron which apparently accelerate the ions.
Date: November 12, 1999
Creator: Hatchett, S.P.; Brown, C.G.; Cowan, T.E.; Henry, E.A.; Johnson, J.; Key, M.H. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Studies of the relativistic electron source and related phenomena in Petawatt Laser matter interactions

Description: The interaction of laser radiation with solid targets at 1 petawatt power and intensity up to 3x10{sup 20} Wcm{sup -2} has been studied with emphasis on relativistic electrons and high energy ions. Secondary effects including Bremsstrahlung radiation, nuclear interactions and heating have been characterized. A collimated beam of protons with up to 55 MeV energy is emitted normal to the rear surface of thin targets and its characteristics and origin are discussed. The significance of the data for radiography, fast ignition and proton beam applications is summarized.
Date: September 27, 1999
Creator: Key, M H; Campbell, E M; Cowan, T E; Hatchett, S P; Henry, E A; Koch, J A et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-energy electron, positron, ion and nuclear spectroscopy in ultra-intense laser-solid experiments on the petawatt

Description: The LLNL Petawatt Laser has achieved focused intensities up to 6 x 20 W/cm{sup 2}, which has opened a new, higher energy regime of relativistic laser-plasma interactions in which the quiver energies of the target electrons exceed the energy thresholds for many nuclear phenomena. We will describe recent experiments in which we have observed electrons accelerated to 100 MeV, photo-nuclear fission, and positron-electron pair creation.
Date: September 16, 1999
Creator: Brown, C; Christl, M; Cowan, T E; Fakahashi, Y; Fountain, W; Hatchett, S et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

X-ray imaging to characterize MeV electronics propagation through plastic targets

Description: A high intensity laser pulse incident on an overdense plasma generates high energy electrons at the critical surface which propagate into the plasma. The details of this propagation is critical to the Fast Ignition process. The energetic electrons emerge as a jet on the far side, but the spread and propagation direction of the jet within the plasma is not well known. By embedding several thin high Z layers in a CH film one can directly image the progress of the electron beam. It loses enough energy to heat the medium through which it travels to hundreds of eV. At that temperature a film, even buried under CH, emits sufficiently hard thermal x-rays to allow imaging the heated area with an x-ray pinhole camera. The film can be thin enough to also see the emissions from another layer near the front of the film. If these two images are visible simultaneously, one can measure the beam spread and propagation direction within the plastic.
Date: September 3, 1999
Creator: Key, M H; Stephens, R B; Koch, J & Pennington, D
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measurements of deep heating generated by ultra-intense laser-plasma interactions

Description: We measure 300 eV thermal temperatures at near-solid densities by x-ray spectroscopy of tracer layers buried up to 30 pm inside CH slabs which are irradiated by a 0.5 kJ, 5 ps laser. X-ray imaging data suggest that collimated electron transport produces comparable temperatures as deep as 200 pm, and unexpectedly show the heated regions to be 50-120 pm-diameter rings. The data indicate that intense lasers can directionally heat solid matter to high temperatures over large distances; the results are relevant for fast-ignition inertial-confinement fusion and hot, dense plasma research
Date: August 25, 1999
Creator: Hatchett, S P; Key, M H; Koch, J A; Lee, R W; Pennington, D; Stephens, R B et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-resolution wavefront control using liquid crystal spatial light modulators

Description: Liquid crystal spatial light modulator technology appropriate for high-resolution wavefront control has recently become commercially available. Some of these devices have several hundred thousand controllable degrees of freedom, more than two orders of magnitude greater than the largest conventional deformable mirror. We will present results of experiments to characterize the optical properties of these devices and to utilize them to correct aberrations in an optical system. We will also present application scenarios for these devices in high-power laser systems.
Date: July 20, 1999
Creator: Bauman, B J; Brase, J M; Brown, C G; Cooke, J B; Kartz, M W; Olivier, S S et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High-resolution wavefront control of high-power laser systems

Description: Nearly every new large-scale laser system application at LLNL has requirements for beam control which exceed the current level of available technology. For applications such as inertial confinement fusion, laser isotope separation, laser machining, and laser the ability to transport significant power to a target while maintaining good beam quality is critical. There are many ways that laser wavefront quality can be degraded. Thermal effects due to the interaction of high-power laser or pump light with the internal optical components or with the ambient gas are common causes of wavefront degradation. For many years, adaptive optics based on thing deformable glass mirrors with piezoelectric or electrostrictive actuators have be used to remove the low-order wavefront errors from high-power laser systems. These adaptive optics systems have successfully improved laser beam quality, but have also generally revealed additional high-spatial-frequency errors, both because the low-order errors have been reduced and because deformable mirrors have often introduced some high-spatial-frequency components due to manufacturing errors. Many current and emerging laser applications fall into the high-resolution category where there is an increased need for the correction of high spatial frequency aberrations which requires correctors with thousands of degrees of freedom. The largest Deformable Mirrors currently available have less than one thousand degrees of freedom at a cost of approximately $1M. A deformable mirror capable of meeting these high spatial resolution requirements would be cost prohibitive. Therefore a new approach using a different wavefront control technology is needed. One new wavefront control approach is the use of liquid-crystal (LC) spatial light modulator (SLM) technology for the controlling the phase of linearly polarized light. Current LC SLM technology provides high-spatial-resolution wavefront control, with hundreds of thousands of degrees of freedom, more than two orders of magnitude greater than the best Deformable Mirrors currently made. Even with the increased ...
Date: July 8, 1999
Creator: Brase, J; Brown, C; Carrano, C; Kartz, M; Olivier, S; Pennington, D et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

High energy electrons,nuclear phenomena andheating in petawatt laser-solid experiments

Description: The Petawatt laser at LLNL has opened a new regime of laser-matter interactions in which the quiver motion of plasma electrons is fully relativistic with energies extending well above the threshold for nuclear processes. In addition to -few MeV ponderomotive electrons produced in ultra-intense laser-solid interactions, we have found a high energy component of electrons extending to -100 MeV apparently from relativistic self-focusing and plasma acceleration in the underdense pre-formed plasma. The generation of hard bremsstrahlung, photo-nuclear reactions, and preliminary evidence for positron-electron pair production will be discussed.
Date: January 15, 1999
Creator: Hatchett, S P; W, A; Cowan, T. E.; Ditmire, T.; Dong, B.; Fountain, W. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Measurements of MeV photon flashes in petawatt laser experiments

Description: Planar targets illuminated by the Petawatt laser system emit directed beams of photons with energies of MeVs. The laser pulses have durations of 0.5 or 5 psec, on target energies in excess of 100 joules, and focal-spot sizes that vary from 10 to 100 µm, producing peak intensities greater than 10<sup>19</sup> watts/cm<sup>;2</sup>. Arrays of PIN diodes, dosimeters and nuclear-activation detectors measure the angular distributions of photons with energies greater than 0.5 MeV. The PIN diodes, with 1 cm<sup>2</sup> by 500-µm sensitive volume, are housed in lead pigs with 2.5-cm thick walls. Measured emission intensities have been as high as 5x10<sup>13</sup> (gamma) MeV/steradian. The angular distributions are highly directed in forward directions, with significant variations on a shot-to-shot basis. Backward radiated intensities tend to be more than a decade lower than in forward direct
Date: November 10, 1998
Creator: Phillips, T.; Brown, C. G.; Cowan, T.; Hatchett, S.; Hunt, A.; Key, M. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Progress in fast ignitor research with the Nova petawatt laser facility

Description: The physics of fast ignition is being studied using a petawatt laser facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Performance of the PW laser with deformable mirror wavefront control giving intensities up to 3x10{sup 20} Wcm{sup {minus}2} is described. Measurements of the efficiency of conversion of laser energy to relativistic electrons and of their energy spectrum and angular distribution including an observed narrow beam angle of {+-}15{degree}, are reported. Heating by the electrons to near 1keV in solid density CD{sub 2} is inferred from the thermo-nuclear neutron yield. Estimates suggest an optimized gain of 300x if the National Ignition Facility were to be adapted for fast ignition.
Date: November 10, 1998
Creator: Cowan, T E; Hammel , B A; Hatchett, S P; Henry, E A; Key, M H; Kilkenny, J D et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Gigagauss magnetic field generation from high intensity laser solid interactions

Description: Intense laser (>10<sup>21</sup> W/cm2 ) sources using pulse compression techniques in the sub-picosecond time frame have been used to create dynamic electric field strenghs in excess of 100 Megavolts/micron with associated magnetic field strengths in the Gigagauss regime. We have begun a series of experiments using the Petawatt Laser system at LLNL to determine the potential of these sources for a variety of applications. Hot electron spectra from laser-target interactions in Au have been measured with energies up to 100 MeV. Hot x-ray production has been measured using filtered thermoluminescent dosimeters and threshold nuclear activation ({gamma},n) from giant resonance interactions. High resolution radiographs through a {rho}r > 165 gm/cm&sup2; have been obtained. Dose levels in the x-ray band from 2-8 MeV have been measured at the level of several Rads at one meter from the target for a single pulse. The physics of these sources and the scaling relationships and laser technology required to provide high magnetic fields will be discussed. Results of preliminary magnetic field calculations will be presented along with potential applications of this technology and estimates of the fundamental scaling limits for future development.
Date: October 15, 1998
Creator: Cowan, T; Moran, M; Hammer, J; Hatchett, S; Hunt, A; Key, M H et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Development of a radiative-hydrodynamics testbed using the petawatt laser facility

Description: Many of the conditions believed to underlie astrophysical phenomena have been difficult to achieve in a laboratory setting. For example, models of supernova remnant evolution rely on a detailed understanding of the propagation of shock waves with gigabar pressures at temperatures of 1 keV or more where radiative effects can be important. Current models of gamma ray bursts posit a relativistically expanding plasma fireball with copious production of electron-positron pairs, a difficult scenario to experimentally verify. However, a new class of lasers, such as the Petawatt laser,Perry 1996 are capable of producing focused intensities greater than 10<sup>20</sup> W/cm&sup2; where such relativistic effects can be observed and even dominate the laser-target interaction. There is ample evidence in observational data from supernova remnants of the aftermath of the passage of radiative shock or blast waves. In the early phases of supernova remnant evolution, the radially-expanding shock wave expands nearly adiabatically since it is traveling at a very high velocity as it begins to sweep up the surrounding interstellar gas. A Sedov-Taylor blast wave solution can be applied to this phase,Taylor 1950, Sedov 1959 when the mass of interstellar gas swept up by the blast greatly exceeds the mass of the stellar ejecta, or a self-similar driven wave model can be applied if the ejecta play a significant role.Chevalier 1982 As the mass of the swept up material begins to greatly exceed the mass of the stellar ejecta, the evolution transitions to a radiative phase wherein the remnant can be modeled as an interior region of ldw-density, high-pressure gas surrounded by a thin, spherical shell of cooled, dense gas with a radiative shock as its outer boundary, the pressure-driven snowplow.Blondin et al. 1998 Until recently it has not been feasible to devise laboratory experiments wherein shock waves with initial pressures in excess of ...
Date: August 27, 1998
Creator: Koch, J A; Bell, P M; Brown, C; Budil, K S; Estabrook, K G; Gold, D M et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Petawatt laser and target irradiation system at LLNL

Description: In May, 1996, we demonstrated the production over a petawatt of peak power in the Nova/Petawatt Laser Facility, generating 620 J in {approximately} 430 fs. Results of the first focused irradiance tests, and recent deployment of a novel targeting system will be presented.
Date: June 6, 1997
Creator: Pennington, D.M.; Perry, M.D.; Britten, J.A.; Brown, C.G.; Herman, S.; Homer, J. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Petawatt laser system and targeting performance

Description: We recently demonstrated the production of 1.25 PW of peak power in the Nova/Petawatt Laser Facility, generating > 600 J in < 450 fs. Results of the first focused irradiance tests, at 500 J and deployment of a novel targeting system will be presented.
Date: April 30, 1997
Creator: Pennington, D.M.; Perry, M.D. & Britten, J.A.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Implementation and performance of beam smoothing on 10 beams of the Nova Laser

Description: Recent simulations and experiments on Nova indicate that some level of smoothing may be required to suppress filamentation in plasmas on the National Ignition Facility (NIF), resulting in the addition of 1-D smoothing capability to the current baseline design. Control of stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) and filamentation is considered essential to the success of laser fusion because they affect the amount and location of laser energy delivered to the x-ray conversion region (hohlraum wall) for indirect drive and to the absorptive region for direct drive, Smoothing by spectral dispersion (SSD)[1], reduces these instabilities by reducing nonuniformities in the focal irradiance when averaged over a finite time interval. We have installed SSD on Nova to produce beam smoothing on all 10 beam lines. A single dispersion grating is located in a position common to all 10 beam lines early in the preamplifier chain. This location limits the 1{omega} bandwidth to 2.2 {angstrom} with sufficient dispersion to displace the speckle field of each frequency component at the target plane by one half speckle diameter. Several beam lines were modified to allow orientation of the dispersion on each arm relative to the hohlraum wall. After conversion to the third harmonic the beam passes through a kinoform phase plate (KPP) designed to produce an elliptical spot at best focus. The KPPs produce a focal spot having an elliptical flat-top envelope with a superimposed speckle pattern. Over 93% of the energy is contained in the central 400 km. Calculations indicate a 16% rms. intensity variance will be reached after 330 ps for a single beam.
Date: March 11, 1997
Creator: Pennington, D. M.; Dixit, S. N.; Weiland, T. L.; Ehrlich, R. & Rothenberg, J. E.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

The Petawatt laser system

Description: We recently demonstrated the production of over a petawatt of peak power in the Nova/Petawatt Laser Facility, generating > 600 J in {approximately} 440 fs. The Petawatt Laser Project was initiated to develop the capability to test the fast ignitor concept for inertial confinement fusion (ICF), and to provide a unique capability in high energy density physics. The laser was designed to produce near kJ pulses with a pulse duration adjustable between 0.5 and 20 ps. At the shortest pulse lengths, this laser is expected to surpass 10 21 W/cm 2 when focused later this year. Currently, this system is limited to 600 J pulses in a 46.3-cm beam. Expansion of the beam to 58 cm, with the installation of 94-cm gratings, will enable 1 kJ operation. Target experiments with petawatt pulses will be possible either integrated with Nova in the 10 beam target chamber or as a stand alone system in an independent, dedicated chamber. Focusing the beam onto a target will be accomplished using an on axis parabolic mirror. The design of a novel targeting system enabling the production of ultrahigh contrast pulses and an easily variable effective focal length is also described.
Date: March 11, 1997
Creator: Pennington, D.M.; Perry, M.D. & Stuart, B.C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department