13 May 2016 Atmospheric propagation of high power laser radiation at different weather conditions
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Applications based on the propagation of high power laser radiation through the atmosphere are limited in range and effect, due to weather dependent beam wandering, beam deterioration, and scattering processes. Security and defense related application examples are countermeasures against hostile projectiles and the powering of satellites and aircrafts. For an examination of the correlations between weather condition and laser beam characteristics DLR operates at Lampoldshausen a 130 m long free transmission laser test range. Sensors around this test range continuously monitor turbulence strength, visibility, precipitation, temperature, and wind speed. High power laser radiation is obtained by a TruDisk 6001 disk laser (Trumpf company) yielding a maximum output power of 6 kW at a wavelength of 1030 nm. The laser beam is expanded to 180 mm and focused along the beam path. Power and intensity distribution are measured before and after propagation, providing information about the atmospheric transmission and alterations of diameter and position of the laser beam. Backscattered laser light is acquired by a photo receiver. As a result, measurements performed at different weather conditions show a couple of correlations to the characteristics of the laser beam. The experimental results are compared to a numerical analysis. The calculations are based on the Maxwell wave equation in Fresnel approximation. The turbulence is considered by the introduction of phase screens and the “von Karman” spectrum.
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Carsten Pargmann, Carsten Pargmann, Thomas Hall, Thomas Hall, Frank Duschek, Frank Duschek, Jürgen Handke, Jürgen Handke, "Atmospheric propagation of high power laser radiation at different weather conditions", Proc. SPIE 9833, Atmospheric Propagation XIII, 983302 (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2223718; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2223718

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