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[en] We present an empirical model that describes the experimentally observed laser-induced bulk damage and conditioning behavior in deuterated Potassium dihydrogen Phosphate (DKDP) crystals in a self-consistent way. The model expands on an existing nanoabsorber precursor model and the multi-step absorption mechanism to include two populations of absorbing defects, one with linear absorption and another with nonlinear absorption. We show that this model connects previously uncorrelated small-beam damage initiation probability data to large-beam damage density measurements over a range of ns pulse widths relevant to ICF lasers such as the National Ignition Facility (NIF). In addition, this work predicts the damage behavior of laser-conditioned DKDP and explains the upper limit to the laser conditioning effect. The ADM model has been successfully used during the commissioning and early operation of the NIF.
[en] In this paper, we specify and estimate a two-level integrated total energy demand model for the Province of Quebec. The specification of the model has a close relationship with models currently used by Canadian public agencies to perform policy simulations and to make forecasts. The focus of the analysis is on forecasting. Two forecasting experiments are conducted while using within sample data. In the first experiment, we establish one-year forecasts, while in the second the model is solved recursively over the whole sample, which consists of annual data from 1962 to 1990. It is found that the model has good tracking properties and that most of the forecasting errors are random. The forecasting experiments show no significant structural defects of the estimated model as a forecasting tool. (author)
[en] This work is an experimental investigation to evaluate the potential of fluorescence microscopy as a tool to detect surface contamination as well as reveal surface damage precursors on DKDP and SIO2 optics. To achieve these technical objectives, microscopic imaging systems were built that also incorporated in-situ damage testing capabilities. Fluorescence imaging experiments were performed using 351-nm laser excitation while damage testing was performed at relatively high laser fluences. The experimental results demonstrated the potential of this technique to address the aforementioned technical issues
[en] The evaluation of optical components in various laser systems, with regard to their resistance to laser-induced damage, has often relied on measuring damage threshold fluences. For large-aperture laser systems a small amount of damage in optics does not impede performance. This necessitates the development of damage testing instrumentation that can directly provide information regarding beam obscuration. The number and size of damage scattering sites for a specific laser fluence, wavelength, and pulse duration determine overall beam losses due to damage. We present a design for rapid quantitative characterization of bulk damage performance of optical materials for use in large-aperture laser systems
[en] Operating a fusion-class laser to its full potential requires a balance of operating constraints. On the one hand, the total laser energy delivered must be high enough to give an acceptable probability for ignition success. On the other hand, the laser-induced optical damage levels must be low enough to be acceptably handled with the available infrastructure and budget for optics recycle. Our research goal was to develop the models, database structures, and algorithmic tools (which we collectively refer to as ''Loop Tools'') needed to successfully maintain this balance. Predictive models are needed to plan for and manage the impact of shot campaigns from proposal, to shot, and beyond, covering a time span of years. The cost of a proposed shot campaign must be determined from these models, and governance boards must decide, based on predictions, whether to incorporate a given campaign into the facility shot plan based upon available resources. Predictive models are often built on damage ''rules'' derived from small beam damage tests on small optics. These off-line studies vary the energy, pulse-shape and wavelength in order to understand how these variables influence the initiation of damage sites and how initiated damage sites can grow upon further exposure to UV light. It is essential to test these damage ''rules'' on full-scale optics exposed to the complex conditions of an integrated ICF-class laser system. Furthermore, monitoring damage of optics on an ICF-class laser system can help refine damage rules and aid in the development of new rules. Finally, we need to develop the algorithms and data base management tools for implementing these rules in the Loop Tools. The following highlights progress in the development of the loop tools and their implementation.
[en] A novel experimental approach is employed to understand the mechanisms of laser induced damage. Using an OPO (optical parametric oscillator) laser, we have measured the damage thresholds of deuterated potassium dihydrogen phosphate (DKDP) from the near ultraviolet into the visible. Distinct steps, whose width is of the order of kBT, are observed in the damage threshold at photon energies associated with the number of photons (3→2 or 4→3) needed to promote a ground state electron across the energy gap. The wavelength dependence of the damage threshold suggests that a primary mechanism for damage initiation in DKDP is a multiphoton process in which the order is reduced through excited defect state absorption
[en] Laser-induced damage in wide band-gap optical materials is the result of material modifications arising from extreme conditions occurring during this process. The material absorbs energy from the laser pulse and produces an ionized region that gives rise to broadband emission. By performing a time-resolved investigation of this emission, we demonstrate both that it is blackbody in nature and that it provides the first direct measurement of the localized temperature of the material during and following laser damage initiation for various optical materials. For excitation using nanosecond laser pulses, the plasma, when confined in the bulk, is in thermal equilibrium with the lattice. These results allow for a detailed characterization of temperature, pressure, and electron densities occurring during laser-induced damage