13 September 2002 Laser propulsion experiments in South Africa
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Proceedings Volume 4760, High-Power Laser Ablation IV; (2002) https://doi.org/10.1117/12.482141
Event: International Symposium on High-Power Laser Ablation 2002, 2002, Taos, New Mexico, United States
Two sets of experiments indicate a renewal of interest in South Africa in the topic of laser propulsion. Both sets were conducted under the auspices of the new National Laser Center. In the first set, a 1 kW, CO2 laser (1 kHz, 1 J, 100 ns) was used to propel small (ca 1 gram) targets through a vertical tube-launcher and the momentum-coupling coefficient for a variety of conditions was estimated. The somewhat disappointing results were accounted for in terms of the poor beam quality from a single oscillator and premature break-down of the exhaust vapor in the tube. These experiments were conducted with one module of the now dismantled 'MLIS' uranium isotope separation system. The second set of experiments being conducted in Durban with a small but more energetic 'marking' laser (CO2 20 Hz., 4 J, 100 ns). The chief purpose of this, was to better understand the discrepancies between the recent vertical propulsion experiment at Pelindaba and earlier propulsion attempts with the original MLIS chain. Preliminary pendulum experiments were carried out. Burning targets exhibited enhanced coupling for single pulses.
© (2002) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Max M. Michaelis, Max M. Michaelis, Ashokabose Moorgawa, Ashokabose Moorgawa, Andrew Forbes, Andrew Forbes, Wouter Klopper, Wouter Klopper, Edric McKenzie, Edric McKenzie, David Boutchiama, David Boutchiama, Hassan Bencherif, Hassan Bencherif, } "Laser propulsion experiments in South Africa", Proc. SPIE 4760, High-Power Laser Ablation IV, (13 September 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.482141; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.482141

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