RF Cleaning - Ring Laser Gyro
Final rept. 17 Apr 1972-28 Feb 1973
ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL ANAHEIM CA AUTONETICS GROUP
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One of the most significant problems confronting ring laser development is short life. The key to long ring laser life is a clean cavity free of contaminants. The objectives of the contract were to test the RF cleaning concept and to build deliverable RLG hardware including both sensors and electronics. The RF cleaning study was performed to determine the feasibility of using RF energy to clean ring laser gyro cavities. A dual discharge approach was selected as the most suitable RF coupling technique for cavity cleaning. Experimental studies were conducted to select and optimize cleaning parameters and procedures. Comparative effectiveness of cleaning techniques was measured by optical spectroscopy and by life test of operational ring laser instruments. Data are presented which indicate that oxygen is the most efficient cleaning gas and that RF cleaning used in conjunction with normal thermal degassing processes can provide for improved laser gyro cleanliness. Conclusions and recommendations for future studies are also presented. Instrument and electronic design of the deliverable hardware are described. Autonetics state-of-the-art design and processing techniques are incorporated in the sensor design. Operating procedures and test results obtained with the equipment at Autonetics are given. A summary is presented of brief studies conducted on RLG reliability, maintainability, and system safety.
- Lasers and Masers