1 December 2004 Alignment and wavefront control systems of the National Ignition Facility
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Optical Engineering, 43(12), (2004). doi:10.1117/1.1815331
The National Ignition Facility (NIF) at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory is a stadium-sized facility containing a 192-beam Nd glass laser. Its 1.053-µm output is frequency converted to produce 1.8-MJ, 500-TW pulses in the ultraviolet. Refer to the companion overview articles in this issue for more information. High-energy-density and inertial confinement fusion physics experiments require the ability to precisely align and focus pulses with single-beam energy up to 20 KJ and durations of a few nanoseconds onto millimeter-sized targets. NIF's alignment control system now regularly provides automatic alignment of the four commissioned beams prior to every NIF shot in approximately 45 min, and speed improvements are being implemented. NIF utilizes adaptive optics for wavefront control, which significantly improves the ability to tightly focus each laser beam onto a target. Multiple sources of both static and dynamic aberration are corrected. This article provides an overview of the NIF automatic alignment and wavefront control systems, and provides data to show that the facility is expected to meet its primary requirements to position beams on the target with an accuracy of 50-µm rms over the 192 beams and to focus the pulses into a 600-µm spot.
Richard A. Zacharias, Neil Reginald Beer, Erlan S. Bliss, Scott C. Burkhart, Simon J. Cohen, Steven B. Sutton, R. L. Van Atta, Scott E. Winters, Joseph Thaddeus Salmon, Milton R. Latta, Christopher J. Stolz, David C. Pigg, Timothy J. Arnold, "Alignment and wavefront control systems of the National Ignition Facility," Optical Engineering 43(12), (1 December 2004). http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/1.1815331


National Ignition Facility

Control systems




Optical amplifiers


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