1 May 1994 DOE reactor-pumped laser program
Author Affiliations +
Proceedings Volume 2121, Laser Power Beaming; (1994) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.174169
Event: OE/LASE '94, 1994, Los Angeles, CA, United States
FALCON is a high-power, steady-state, nuclear reactor-pumped laser (RPL) concept that is being developed by the Department of Energy. The FALCON program has experimentally demonstrated reactor-pumped lasing in various mixtures of xenon, argon, neon, and helium at wavelengths of 585, 703, 725, 1271, 1733, 1792, 2032, 2630, 2650, and 3370 nm with intrinsic efficiency as high as 2.5%. The major strengths of a reactor-pumped laser are continuous high-power operation, modular construction, self-contained power, compact size, and a variety of wavelengths (from visible to infrared). These characteristics suggest numerous applications not easily accessible to other laser types. A ground-based RPL could beam its power to space for such activities as illuminating geosynchronous communication satellites in the earth's shadow to extend their lives, beaming power to orbital transfer vehicles, removing space debris, and providing power (from earth) to a lunar base during the long lunar night. The compact size and self-contained power also makes an RPL very suitable for ship basing so that power-beaming activities could be situated around the globe. The continuous high power of an RPL opens many potential manufacturing applications such as deep-penetration welding and cutting of thick structures, wide-area hardening of metal surfaces by heat treatment or cladding application, wide-area vapor deposition of ceramics onto metal surfaces, production of sub-micron sized particles for manufacturing of ceramics, wide-area deposition of diamond- like coatings, and 3-D ceramic lithography.
© (1994) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
James R. Felty, James R. Felty, Ronald J. Lipinski, Ronald J. Lipinski, David A. McArthur, David A. McArthur, Paul S. Pickard, Paul S. Pickard, } "DOE reactor-pumped laser program", Proc. SPIE 2121, Laser Power Beaming, (1 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.174169; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.174169


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