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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 46, Iss. 16 — Jun. 1, 2007
  • pp: 3276–3303

National Ignition Facility laser performance status

C. A. Haynam, P. J. Wegner, J. M. Auerbach, M. W. Bowers, S. N. Dixit, G. V. Erbert, G. M. Heestand, M. A. Henesian, M. R. Hermann, K. S. Jancaitis, K. R. Manes, C. D. Marshall, N. C. Mehta, J. Menapace, E. Moses, J. R. Murray, M. C. Nostrand, C. D. Orth, R. Patterson, R. A. Sacks, M. J. Shaw, M. Spaeth, S. B. Sutton, W. H. Williams, C. C. Widmayer, R. K. White, S. T. Yang, and B. M. Van Wonterghem  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 46, Issue 16, pp. 3276-3303 (2007)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.46.003276


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Abstract

The National Ignition Facility (NIF) is the world's largest laser system. It contains a 192 beam neodymium glass laser that is designed to deliver 1.8   MJ at 500   TW at 351   nm in order to achieve energy gain (ignition) in a deuterium–tritium nuclear fusion target. To meet this goal, laser design criteria include the ability to generate pulses of up to 1.8   MJ total energy, with peak power of 500 TW and temporal pulse shapes spanning 2 orders of magnitude at the third harmonic ( 351   nm or 3 ω ) of the laser wavelength. The focal-spot fluence distribution of these pulses is carefully controlled, through a combination of special optics in the 1 ω ( 1053   nm ) portion of the laser (continuous phase plates), smoothing by spectral dispersion, and the overlapping of multiple beams with orthogonal polarization (polarization smoothing). We report performance qualification tests of the first eight beams of the NIF laser. Measurements are reported at both 1 ω and 3 ω , both with and without focal-spot conditioning. When scaled to full 192 beam operation, these results demonstrate, to the best of our knowledge for the first time, that the NIF will meet its laser performance design criteria, and that the NIF can simultaneously meet the temporal pulse shaping, focal-spot conditioning, and peak power requirements for two candidate indirect drive ignition designs.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(140.3070) Lasers and laser optics : Infrared and far-infrared lasers
(140.3610) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, ultraviolet

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

History
Original Manuscript: December 7, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: January 8, 2007
Published: May 15, 2007

Citation
C. A. Haynam, P. J. Wegner, J. M. Auerbach, M. W. Bowers, S. N. Dixit, G. V. Erbert, G. M. Heestand, M. A. Henesian, M. R. Hermann, K. S. Jancaitis, K. R. Manes, C. D. Marshall, N. C. Mehta, J. Menapace, E. Moses, J. R. Murray, M. C. Nostrand, C. D. Orth, R. Patterson, R. A. Sacks, M. J. Shaw, M. Spaeth, S. B. Sutton, W. H. Williams, C. C. Widmayer, R. K. White, S. T. Yang, and B. M. Van Wonterghem, "National Ignition Facility laser performance status," Appl. Opt. 46, 3276-3303 (2007)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-46-16-3276

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