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Scaling of Parameters and Resonance Self-Absorption in CO Lasers
NORTHROP RESEARCH AND TECHNOLOGY CENTER PALOS VERDES PENINSULA CA
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High optical extraction efficiencies for CO electric discharge lasers have been theoretically predicted and experimentally demonstrated. Considerable interest for military applications has resulted in programs for development of both pulsed and cw CO EDLs with high power and high energy objectives. In order to make realistic performance predictions for potential device design, it is necessary to understand how these devices scale in volume, pressure, and other parameters. In this report, several generalizations that result from parametric scaling of the CO laser kinetics are reported and compared with experimental data from an e--beam stabilized device. Scaling to high energy and high power systems is discussed. The limitations on high pressure or line-selected operation that may be imposed by resonant self-absorption in the CO medium is discussed. Preliminary investigations suggest that this effect may be an important pressure-dependent mechanism, with possible consequences for attainment of line selection objectives.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE