CW Pin Discharge Laser
Final rept. 15 Mar 1973-30 Sep 1974
WESTINGHOUSE RESEARCH LABS PITTSBURGH PA
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A Continuously Operating Fast Flow Electrically Excited COFFEE laser excitation concept was studied to determine the feasibility of scaling it to high-power levels. The concept uses a multipin-to-plane electrode configuration with transverse flow to produce a high-pressure, self-sustained glow discharge. Simultaneous approaches involving both experimental measurements and theoretical analyses were employed to develop discharge scaling criteria and a laser kinetics model. Parametric studies determined the influences of discharge current, gas velocity, pressure, mixture, electrode gap, and cathode pin spacing on input power density, specific input energy, discharge stability, and scale size. The laser kinetics were analyzed using a computer code developed for a six-temperature Boltzmann equilibrium model of CO2N2HeH2O gas mixtures. The model is quite general and can be applied to most CO2 flowing gas laser systems of present interest. The main conclusion of these studies is that multikilowatt COFFEE laser systems can easily be built and a solid technology base now exists for designing these systems.
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