Disk amplifiers have been used on almost all solid state laser systems of high energy, and, in principle, one simply has to cool the device to operate it at average power. To achieve the desired waste heat removal, gas is flowed across the disk surface as indicated in Fig. 1. This geometry raises several issues: Since the beam traverses the cooling medium, how must heat transfer be accomplished, and what are the concomitant operating limits so that optical distortions are minimized? What is the efficiency cost of cooling with a high Mach number gas flow? What flow conditioning between sets of Brewster plates is necessary to minimize beam distortions?

© 1989 Optical Society of America

PDF Article