Accession Number : ADA187156

Title :   Solar Pumped, Alkali Vapor Laser.

Descriptive Note : Final rept. 1 Sep 84-31 Aug 86,

Corporate Author : PHYSICAL SCIENCES INC ANDOVER MA

Personal Author(s) : Ham, David ; DeFaccio, Mark A

PDF Url : ADA187156

Report Date : 04 Sep 1987

Pagination or Media Count : 58

Abstract : High power lasers based in space have been considered as sources for power transmission, laser propulsion, materials processing and space defense. The feasibility of such systems is based on the cost per unit power delivered, with detailed studies indicating that light weight has a greater impact on cost than laser efficiency. Solar radiation is a natural source of power for these devices and two methods for conversion of solar radiation to laser radiation can be considered. An indirectly solar pumped laser would first convert the solar radiation to electricity or longer wavelength blackbody radiation which is then used to power the laser. A directly longer wavelength blackbody radiation which is then used to power the laser. A directly pumped solar laser would utilize a portion of te solar spectrum to directly pump the laser medium, eliminating the intervening step and substantially reducing the systems weight and complexity. Detailed comparisons showed a directly pumped laser with an overall efficiency of only 1.5 percent can compete with an indirectly energized solar laser with an overall efficiency of ten percent. With this in mind, a concept for a directly solar pumped laser was developed based on an alkali vapor (sodium) as the laser medium. Keywords: Solar, Laser.

Descriptors :   *ALKALI METALS, *HIGH POWER, *LASERS, *VAPORS, BLACKBODY RADIATION, COSTS, DEFENSE SYSTEMS, EFFICIENCY, ELECTRICITY, IMPACT, LASER BEAMS, LASER PUMPING, LIGHTWEIGHT, MATERIALS, POWER, POWER SUPPLIES, PROCESSING, PROPULSION SYSTEMS, SODIUM, SOLAR RADIATION, SOLAR SPECTRUM, SPACE SYSTEMS, TRANSMITTANCE, WEIGHT

Subject Categories : Lasers and Masers

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE