A laser alignment system is applied to a high power laser facility for inertial confinement fusion. A design of the automated, close-loop laser beam alignment system is described. Its function is to sense beam alignment errors in a laser beam transport system and automatically steer mirrors preceding the sensor location as required to maintain beam alignment. The laser beam is sampled by a sensor package, which uses video cameras to sense pointing and centering errors. The camera outputs are fed to a personal computer, which includes video digitizers and uses image storage and software to sense the centroid of the image. Signals are sent through the computer to a stepper motor controller, which drives stepper motors on mirror mounts preceding the beam sampling location to return the beam alignment to the prescribed condition. Its optical principles and key techniques are given. The pointing and centering sensitivities of the beam alignment sensor package are analyzed. The system has been verified on the multi-pass amplifier experimental system.
© 2005 Chinese Optics Letters
Daizhong Liu, Renfang Xu, and Dianyuan Fan, "Design and performance of a video-based laser beam automatic alignment system," Chin. Opt. Lett. 2, 92-94 (2004)