2 October 2008 Synchronous initiation of optical detonators by Q-switched solid laser sources
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Abstract
The initiation of pyrotechnic substances by a laser light has been studied for more than 30 years. But until recently the use of this technology for defence applications encountered three main technical problems: the volume and the mass of lasers, the linear loss of optical fibres and their possible damage caused by the transport of strong laser power. Recent technical progress performed in the field of electrical and optical devices are now very promising for future opto-pyrotechnic functional chains. The objective of this paper is to present a demonstrator developed in order to initiate in a synchronous way four optical detonators and to measure the dispersion of their functioning times. It includes four compact Q-switched Nd:Cr:GSGG solid laser sources, pumped by flash lamp (energy ≈110mJ, FWHM ≈8.5 ns), two ultra-fast electro-optical selectors (based on RTP crystals) used to steer the laser beam and six optical fibre lines to transmit the laser pulses to the optical detonators. The set-up integrates also complex control and safety systems, as well as cameras allowing an optimal alignment of optical fibres. Experiments led us to initiate in a synchronous way four detonators with a mean scattering of 50 ns. The perspectives in this domain of initiation concern mainly the miniaturization and the hardening to the environments of electrical and optical components.
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J. Goujon, J. Goujon, O. Musset, O. Musset, A. Marchand, A. Marchand, C. Bigot, C. Bigot, } "Synchronous initiation of optical detonators by Q-switched solid laser sources", Proc. SPIE 7115, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures V, 71150P (2 October 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.799489; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.799489
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