Experiments on laser-induced thermonuclear fusion require high brightness lasers capable of producing subnanosecond pulses with total energy content of several kilojoules. Of existing laser media, Nd:glass appears to be the best choice for meeting these criteria. In this paper we discuss the problems of designing a high power Nd:glass laser system. A detailed description of an operating two-beam system producing subnanosecond pulses with a maximum energy of 350 J per beam is presented, along with an extensive description of beam diagnostic techniques. A four beam version of this system became operational on 3 April 1974 and is now producing energies in excess of a kilojoule in subnanosecond pulses.
J. Soures, S. Kumpan, and J. Hoose, "High Power Nd:Glass Laser for Fusion Applications," Appl. Opt. 13, 2081-2094 (1974)