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High Power CW CO2 Box Laser.
Interim technical rept. 1 Jul 66-31 Dec 69,
HUGHES RESEARCH LABS MALIBU CA ELECTRON DEVICE PHYSICS DEPT
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The objective of 50 W of single mode, TEM sub 00, power output was achieved with a master oscillator-power amplifier CO2 laser system utilizing two box lasers. The characteristics of the box laser configuration were optimized in a parametric study which included measurements of small signal gain, single path laser power, and discharge configurations. In the present application the optimum configuration for the box laser consists of a height of 0.5 in., width to height aspect ratio of 81, 25 anode-cathode pairs with an adjacent spacing of 1 in., and a folded 7 paths optical path length of 5.67 m. A power output of 60 W was obtained with a discharge voltage of 1100 V and a discharge current of 800 mA applied to both the oscillator and amplifier. A gas flowing system of CO2, N2, and He at a total gas flow rate of 2 ft cu ft.min at STP and a box laser pressure of 12 Torr were used. Long life sealed-off CO2 laser operation was demonstrated with cylindrical discharge tube lasers. The longest life test performed was for 2800 hours. Laser performance as influenced by gas additives such as xenon was studied. Long life-sealed off CO2 laser operation with the box laser configuration was not obtained with the present design. Author
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