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A Distributed Microcomputer Control System for a High-Energy Gas-Laser Facility

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3 Author(s)
Strait, B.G. ; Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory ; Thuot, M.E. ; Hong, J.P.

Laser research facilities, with their typically severe EMI environment and attendant need for minimum length data links, represent an ideal application for a distributed microcomputer-based control system. This paper presents the conceptual design of a distributed control system for the High Energy Gas Laser Facility (Figure 1). Third in a series of experimental CO2 laser fusion systems at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory in New Mexico, the HEGLF is aimed at exploring the use of lasers in thermonuclear research for power generation. As presently conceived, the system will contain multiple microcomputers, each with its own executive, performing dedicated functions under supervision of a central minicomputer. It will monitor six power amplifiers, the high-voltage pulse-power system, the laser preamplifiers, and the target systems, as well as automatically align the laser beams onto the target. System components, which will be distributed throughout the facility, will be interconnected via fiber-optics cables so as to combat the electromagnetic noise environment when the laser is fired.

Published in:

Computer  (Volume:10 ,  Issue: 9 )