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Integration of Optical Fibers in Megajoule Class Laser Environments: Advantages and Limitations

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7 Author(s)
S. Girard ; CEA, DAM, DIF, Arpajon, France ; Y. Ouerdane ; A. Boukenter ; C. Marcandella
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We review the advantages and limitations for the integration of optical fibers in the radiative environment associated with Megajoule class lasers as Laser Megajoule (LMJ) in France or National Ignition Facility (NIF) in the USA. Optical fibers present numerous advantages, like their electromagnetic immunity, for integration in these facilities devoted to the fusion by inertial confinement studies. Despite these advantages, it is also well-known that optical fibers suffer from a degradation of their macroscopic properties under irradiation, limiting their transmission capability. We studied the major mechanisms governing the amplitude of this degradation, focusing our discussion on the transient radiation-induced attenuation (RIA) phenomena that is often the limiting factor for LMJ applications. The amplitude and growth and decay kinetics of RIA are affected by different parameters related to the fibers themselves but also depend on the application and irradiation characteristics. We particularly investigated the fiber transient radiation responses when the optical links have to operate during the pulsed and mixed environment associated with ignition shots. Our study shows that, if the same parameters affect the fiber sensitivity for steady state and transient irradiations, the radiation tolerances of the different classes of waveguides strongly differ, implying dedicated experiments for LMJ facility needs.

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IEEE Transactions on Nuclear Science  (Volume:59 ,  Issue: 4 )