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Development of a Continuous Multi-Thousand Shot Electron Beam Pumped KrF Rep-Rate Laser for Fusion Energy

P. M. Burns, M. Myers, J. D. Sethian, M. F. Wolford, J. L. Giuliani, S. P. Obenschain, R. H. Lehmberg, S. Searles, M. Friedman, F. Hegeler, R. Jaynes, R. V. Smilgys

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 52 / Number 3 / October 2007 / Pages 445-453


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The Electra laser system is currently being developed at the Naval Research Laboratory to serve as a test bed for laser driver technologies needed for an inertial fusion energy power plant. The main amplifier has produced 730 J of laser light operating in an oscillator mode. These results as well as advancement of the laser physics, electron beam deposition, and the pulse power technologies give us projections of >7% wall plug efficiency for an IFE system. The Electra main amplifier in oscillator configuration has run continuously at 1 Hz, 2.5 Hz, and 5 Hz for multi-thousand shot runs.

This paper will discuss recent results of the Electra program at the Naval Research Laboratory including integrating the Electra main amplifier into a complete laser amplifier system. Issues addressed will include development paths for the cathode, window coating, and foil longevity to attain the durability required for a fusion power plant.

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