Nuclear-Pumped Lasers


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Nuclear-pumped lasers for large-scale applications

Tarit K. Elements of Slow-Neutron Scattering. Foundations in Applied Nuclear Engineering Analysis. Glenn E Sjoden. Vibrations of Elastic Systems. The power requirement of a laser for power transmission to satellites is in the range of from 1 to megawatts. Another application for high powered lasers is in the launching of space vehicles where power in excess of 1 gigawatt per ton orbited is needed with a specific impulse of about seconds.

Presently, there are several approaches for producing a high powered, long pulse laser radiation at wave lengths of less than 2 microns. Examples of devices for producing such radiation are chemical lasers, free electron lasers and nuclear pumped lasers. Of particular interest to the present invention are nuclear pumped lasers. A substantial amount of work has been performed on developing lasers which are pumped by fission reactors.

Examples of which are disclosed in U.

Frosch, which discusses a multiple path nuclear pumped laser; 4,,, issued to Thomas G. Miller, which discusses a high power nuclear photon pumped laser; 4,,, issued to Walter Fader, which discloses a nuclear pumped uranyl salt laser; 4,,, issued to James C. Fletcher, which discusses a 3 He pumped laser; and 4,,, issued to George H. Miley, which discloses a direct nuclear pumped laser. All of these inventions use energetic neutrons or fission products from a fission reactor to directly or indirectly pump a laser.

Specifically, there has been considerable experimental work done in pumping lasers with fission reactor neutrons via the 3 He n,p T reaction, as disclosed by George H. Plasma Phenom. Prelas et al.


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Energy, 8, 35 ; and F. Boody et al. The use of controlled fusion devices for laser pumping has been proposed conceptually by George H. Miley in Fusion Energy Conversion and in Trans. However, to date, a scheme for harnessing the power of a fusion reactor and converting such power to useful laser radiation has not been developed. A fusion reactor pumped laser would have several advantages over a fission reactor pumped laser.

First, in a fusion reactor one neutron is available per In a fission reactor, at most, one neutron can be made available per fission event MeV to react with the neutron converter. Second, practically all the neutrons can be made to emerge from a fusion reactor, either by direct streaming or indirectly by reflection from neutron reflective surfaces.

Thus, unlike a fission reactor, the laser cells and optical systems need not be installed in the reactor core itself in order to utilize all the free neutrons. From a safety and design viewpoint, it is desireable to decouple the reactor and the laser.

Introduction to Nuclear-Pumped Lasers | SpringerLink

Absorption or reflection of the neutrons in a fusion reactor has absolutely no effect on the fusion source. Third, if 3 He or some other gas is used for neutron conversion, the huge absorption cross section of neutron converter would require that excess reactivity be added to the fission system. This excess reactivity could cause a dangerous power excursion in the event of an escape of 3 He or other neutron absorbing gas.

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Nuclear-Pumped Lasers Nuclear-Pumped Lasers
Nuclear-Pumped Lasers Nuclear-Pumped Lasers
Nuclear-Pumped Lasers Nuclear-Pumped Lasers
Nuclear-Pumped Lasers Nuclear-Pumped Lasers
Nuclear-Pumped Lasers Nuclear-Pumped Lasers
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