In large-aperture, ultrahigh-intensity laser systems, such as Vulcan at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, one of the most important factors that determines the ultimate on-target focused intensity is the wave-front quality of the laser pulse. We report on a wave-front analysis carried out on Vulcan to determine the nature and contribution of the aberrations present in the laser pulse that effectively limited the available on-target intensity. We also report on a significant improvement to the wave-front quality that was achieved by static correction of the main aberration, resulting in an increase of focused intensities by a factor of 4.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: July 19, 1999
Revised Manuscript: December 22, 1999
Published: April 20, 2000
Cristina Hernandez-Gomez, John L. Collier, Steve J. Hawkes, Colin N. Danson, Chris B. Edwards, Dave A. Pepler, Ian N. Ross, and Trevor B. Winstone, "Wave-front control of a large-aperture laser system by use of a static phase corrector," Appl. Opt. 39, 1954-1961 (2000)