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Title: Phase conjugation of high energy lasers.

In this report we explore claims that phase conjugation of high energy lasers by stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) can compensate optical aberrations associated with severely distorted laser amplifier media and aberrations induced by the atmosphere. The SBS media tested was a gas cell pressurized up to 300 psi with SF6 or Xe or both. The laser was a 10 Hz, 3J, Q-switched Nd:YAG with 25 ns wide pulses. Atmospheric aberrations were created with space heaters, helium jets and phase plates designed with a Kolmogorov turbulence spectrum characterized by a Fried parameter, ro , ranging from 0.6 6.0 mm. Phase conjugate tests in the laboratory were conducted without amplification. For the strongest aberrations, D/ro ~ 20, created by combining the space heaters with the phase plate, the Strehl ratio was degraded by a factor of ~50. Phase conjugation in SF6 restored the peak focusable intensity to about 30% of the original laser. Phase conjugate tests at the outdoor laser range were conducted with laser amplifiers providing gain in combination with the SBS cell. A large 600,000 BTU kerosene space heater was used to create turbulence along the beam path. An atmospheric structure factor of Cn2 = 5x10-13 m2/3 caused the illuminationmore » beam to expand to a diameter 250mm and overfill the receiver. The phase conjugate amplified return could successfully be targeted back onto glints 5mm in diameter. Use of a lenslet arrays to lower the peak focusable intensity in the SBS cell failed to produce a useful phase conjugate beam; The Strehl ratio was degraded with multiple random lobes instead of a single focus. I will review literature results which show how multiple beams can be coherently combined by SBS when a confocal reflecting geometry is used to focus the laser in the SBS cell.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Sandia National Laboratories (SNL-NM), Albuquerque, NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
Country of Publication:
United States