The paper aims to compare the results obtained with the same laser source with a large beam and with small beams. These latest were shaped from phase objects implemented to obtain several small beams from a single larger beam. The consistency of the results from both sets of measurements is shown. It validates the assumptions made and the specific mathematical treatments implemented to establish the link between the two approaches. It also validates and strengthens the approach developed from the rasterscan procedure used to measure damage densities from the scanning with beams of small dimensions. This shows that small beam tests are reasonably representative of tests carried out with large beams.
We report on the first coherent beam combining of 60 fiber chirped-pulse amplifiers in a tiled-aperture configuration along with an interferometric phase measurement technique. Relying on coherent beams recombination in the far field, this technique appears well suited for the combination of a large number of fiber amplifiers. The 60 output beams are stacked in a hexagonal arrangement and collimated through a high fill factor hexagonal microlens array. The measured residual errors within the fiber array yields standard deviations of 4.2 μm for the fiber pitch and 3.1 mrad for the beam-to-beam pointing, allowing a combining efficiency of 50 %. The phasing of 60 fiber amplifiers demonstrates both pulse synchronization and phase stabilization with a residual phase error as low as λ/100 RMS.
A millimetric aperture Nd:glass laser system has been designed and constructed at the CEA-CESTA. Its aim is to best mimic the laser conditions that can be found in inertial confinement fusion facilities. It is therefore used to study the main phenomena that prevents these lasers to work at their maximum power: the laser induced damage of the optical components. The combination of temporal and spatial modulators provides, every minute, a 6 J, 7 mm, 351 nm homogeneous beam at the fused silica sample location. This proceeding illustrates the capacity of the facility over two experiments: the study of damage initiation and the growth of laser damage sites on fused silica, up to millimetric scales
The growth of damage sites from micrometric to millimetric scales under high energy laser system conditions
have herein been investigated. In this realm, a saturation of the surface growth followed by the rapid expansion of
radial cracks has been observed. This observation contrasts with the previously reported exponential behavior1
(for pulse durations above 2 ns) and linear behavior (for pulse durations below 2 ns). The observation of the
longitudinal damage structure coupled with fractal analysis has shown that these shifts in growth behavior seem
to be correlated with changes in the damage morphology.