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Gain saturation studies in LG-750 and LG-770 amplifier glass

Description: Experiments were performed on the 100-J class Optical Sciences Laser (OSL) at LLNL to characterize the saturation fluence and small-signal gain of a solid-state Nd:glass amplifier utilizing LG-750 and LG-770, an amplifier glass developed for the National Ignition Facility (NIF). These high quality measurements of gain saturation at NIF level fluences, i.e., 10-15 J/cm{sup 2}, provide essential parameters for the amplifier performance codes used to design NIF and future high power laser systems. The small-signal gain, saturation fluence and square-pulse distortion were measured as a function of input fluence and pulse length in platinum-free LG-750 and LG-770. The input fluence, output fluence, small-signal gain and passive losses were measured to allow calculation of the saturation fluence. Least square fits of the output vs. input fluence data using a Frantz-Nodvik model was used to obtain an average saturation fluence for each data set. Overall, gain saturation in LG-750 and LG-770 is comparable at long pulse lengths. For shorter pulse length, < 5 ns, LG-770 exhibits a stronger pulse length dependence than LG-750, possibly due to a longer terminal level lifetime. LG-770 also has a higher cross- section, which is reflected by its slightly higher extraction efficiency. 52 refs., 11 figs., 2 tabs.
Date: March 10, 1997
Creator: Pennington, D.M.; Milam, D. & Eimerl, D.
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&amp;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

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

Advanced Wavefront Control Techniques

Description: Programs at LLNL that involve large laser systems--ranging from the National Ignition Facility to new tactical laser weapons--depend on the maintenance of laser beam quality through precise control of the optical wavefront. This can be accomplished using adaptive optics, which compensate for time-varying aberrations that are often caused by heating in a high-power laser system. Over the past two decades, LLNL has developed a broad capability in adaptive optics technology for both laser beam control and high-resolution imaging. This adaptive optics capability has been based on thin deformable glass mirrors with individual ceramic actuators bonded to the back. In the case of high-power lasers, these adaptive optics systems have successfully improved beam quality. However, as we continue to extend our applications requirements, the existing technology base for wavefront control cannot satisfy them. To address this issue, this project studied improved modeling tools to increase our detailed understanding of the performance of these systems, and evaluated novel approaches to low-order wavefront control that offer the possibility of reduced cost and complexity. We also investigated improved beam control technology for high-resolution wavefront control. Many high-power laser systems suffer from high-spatial-frequency aberrations that require control of hundreds or thousands of phase points to provide adequate correction. However, the cost and size of current deformable mirrors can become prohibitive for applications requiring more than a few tens of phase control points. New phase control technologies are becoming available which offer control of many phase points with small low-cost devices. The goal of this project was to expand our wavefront control capabilities with improved modeling tools, new devices that reduce system cost and complexity, and extensions to high spatial and temporal frequencies using new adaptive optics technologies. In FY 99, the second year of this project, work was performed in four areas (1) advanced modeling ...
Date: February 21, 2001
Creator: Olivier, S S; Brase, J M; Avicola, K; Thompson, C A; Kartz, M W; Winters, S et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

New Front End Technology

Description: The next generation of Petawatt class lasers will require the development of new laser technology. Optical parametric chirped pulse amplification (OPCPA) holds a potential to increase the peak power level to &gt;10 PW with existing grating technology through ultrashort pulses. Furthermore, by utilizing a new type of front-end system based on optical parametric amplification, pulses can be produced with substantially higher contrast than with Ti:sapphire regenerative amplifier technology. We performed extensive study of OPCPA using a single crystal-based OPA. We developed a replacement for Ti:sapphire regenerative amplifier for high peak power lasers based on OPCPA, with an output of 30 mJ, at 10 Hz repetition rate and 16.5 nm spectral bandwidth. We developed a 3D numerical model for OPCPA and we performed a theoretical study of influences of pump laser beam quality on optical parametric amplification. Our results indicate that OPCPA represents a valid replacement for Ti:sapphire in the front end of high energy short pulse lasers.
Date: February 1, 2001
Creator: Pennington, D; Jovanovic, I & Comaskey, B J
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Investigation of ultrafast photothermal surface expansion and diffusivity in GaAs via laser-induced dynamic gratings

Description: This thesis details the first direct ultrafast measurements of the dynamic thermal expansion of a surface and the temperature dependent surface thermal diffusivity using a two-color reflection transient grating technique. Studies were performed on p-type, n-type, and undoped GaAs(100) samples over a wide range of temperatures. By utilizing a 90 fs ultraviolet probe with visible excitation beams, the effects of interband saturation and carrier dynamics become negligible; thus lattice expansion due to heating and subsequent contraction caused by cooling provided the dominant influence on the probe. At room temperature a rise due to thermal expansion was observed, corresponding to a maximum net displacement of {approximately} 1 {Angstrom} at 32 ps. The diffracted signal was composed of two components, thermal expansion of the surface and heat flow away from the surface, thus allowing a determination of the rate of expansion as well as the surface thermal diffusivity, D{sub S}. By varying the fringe spacing of the grating, this technique has the potential to separate the signal contributions to the expansion of the lattice in the perpendicular and parallel directions. In the data presented here a large fringe spacing was used, thus the dominant contribution to the rising edge of the signal was expansion perpendicular to the surface. Comparison of he results with a straightforward thermal model yields good agreement over a range of temperatures (20--300{degrees}K). Values for D{sub S} in GaAs were measured and found to be in reasonable agreement with bulk values above 50{degrees}K. Below 50{degrees}K, D{sub S} were determined to be up to an order of magnitude slower than the bulk diffusivity due to increased phonon boundary scattering. The applicability and advantages of the TG technique for studying photothermal and photoacoustic phenomena are discussed.
Date: April 1, 1992
Creator: Pennington, D. M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department