Target voltage response in reaction to laser radiation
Harkins, Richard M.
Schwirzke, Fred R.
Cooper, Alfred W.M.
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A five microsecond, 15 joule, pulsed C0₂ Laser was used to irradiate polished 2024 aluminum targets. The target voltage response (TVR) was measured with respect to the incident laser radiation and showed a pulse width on the order of 30 nanoseconds. The voltage was measured at values from 22 to 140 volts with resistances varying from one ohm to two mega-ohms. The TVR was correlated to the emission and blow-off of electrons from the target surface and the possible ignition of a Laser Supported Detonation wave. The TVR, laser pulse, and flash associated with target surface breakdown were time correlated and shown to happen within the first 170 nanoseconds of the five microsecond laser pulse. Currents up to 500 amps were observed when the resistance to ground was reduced to less than 1 ohm. Also, the magnitude of the TVR was shown to be a function of background gas pressure.
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