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Nd:Glass Laser Design for Laser ICF Fission Energy (LIFE)

John Caird et al.

Fusion Science and Technology / Volume 56 / Number 2 / Pages 607-617

August 2009

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We have developed preliminary conceptual laser system designs for the Laser ICF (Inertial Confinement Fusion) Fission Energy (LIFE) application. Our approach leverages experience in high-energy Nd: glass laser technology developed for the National Ignition Facility (NIF), along with high-energy-class diode-pumped solid-state laser (HEC-DPSSL) technology system.

We present laser system designs suitable for both indirect-drive, hot spot ignition and indirect-drive, fast ignition targets. Main amplifiers for both systems use laser-diode-angle, as in NIF, but the slabs are much thinner to allow for cooling by high-velocity helium gas as in the Mercury laser system. We also describe a plan to mass-produce pump-diode lasers to bring diode costs down to the order of $0.01 per Watt of peak output power, as needed to make the LIFE application economically attractive.

 
 
 
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