Free electron and solid state lasers development for naval directed energy
Colson, William B.
Pace, Phillip E.
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A MW level FEL is being designed with a short a Rayleigh length resonator to increase the spot size at the mirrors and to avoid mirror damage. In this thesis, it is found that it is desirable to focus the electron beam to improve the FEL extraction efficiency. Three-dimensional simulations show that the focused electron beam increases the extraction efficiency far beyond the required value of 0.7%. It is also found in this thesis that shifting the electron beam off-axis less than 0.3 mm, the efficiency remains above the required value. The proposed FEL design uses high power, short optical pulses whose spectrum may cover many absorption lines. The absorbed laser energy can heat up the air resulting in defocusing the laser beam (thermal blooming). This thesis shows that thermal blooming is not an issue for a moderate clear atmosphere when the stagnation zone size remains less than 10 m. A transitional step for the development of a MW level FEL weapon is the proposed 100 kW upgrade of the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility's FEL. It has also been shown in this thesis that the use of a step -taper undulator slightly improves the performance of the FEL. Finally, the potential of various high average power solid-state laser designs are reviewed.
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