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Repetitively pulsed, 70-J photolytic iodine laser with excellent optical and long/reliable operation

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2 Author(s)
L. A. Schlie ; Laser & Imaging Directorate, Phillips Lab., Kirtland AFB, NM, USA ; R. D. Rathge

The performance of a repetitively pulsed, 70 joule, closed cycle 1.3 μM photolytic atomic iodine laser with excellent beam quality (BQ=1.15) is presented. This BQ was exhibited in the fundamental mode from a M=3.1 confocal unstable resonator at a 0.5 Hz repetition rate. A closed cycle scrubber/laser fuel system consisting of a condensative-evaporative section, two Cu wool I2 reactor regions, and an internal turbo-blower enabled the laser to operate very reliably with low maintenance. The fuel system provided C3F 7I gas at 10-60 torr absent of the photolytic quenching by-product I2. Using a turbo-molecular blower longitudinal flow velocities greater than 10 m/s were achieved through the 150 cm long by 7.5×7.5 cm2 cross sectional photolytic iodine gain region. In addition to the high laser output and excellent BQ, the resulting 8-12 μs laser pulse had a coherence length greater than 45 meters and polarization extinction ratio better than 100:1. Projections from this pulsed photolytic atomic iodine laser technology to larger energies, higher repetition rates, and variable pulse widths are discussed

Published in:

IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics  (Volume:31 ,  Issue: 6 )