Lawrence Livermore Develops 13-kW Solid-State Laser
Researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, Calif., have delivered a prototype solid-state heat-capacity laser to the US Army's High Energy Laser System Test Facility in White Sands, N.M., for testing. The goal of the project is to develop a 100-kW diode-pumped solid-state laser, perhaps using Nd:GGG slabs, for inclusion on a hybrid electric Humvee as a tactical defense weapon.
The current nine-disc, flashlamp-pumped Nd:glass laser delivers an average output of 13 kW in 200 500-J pulses per shot from an input of 1 MW. The researchers produced the system with support from the Army's Space and Missile Defense Command and in partnership with General Atomics, Raytheon Co., PEI Electronics Inc., Northrop Grumman Corp., Goodrich Corp. (formerly BFGoodrich), Armstrong Laser Technology Inc. and Saft.
Above, Balbir Bhachu, a laser technician at the lab, monitors the performance of the system during a low-power test. Image by Michael P. Anthony, courtesy of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
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