As drivers for inertial fusion, pulsed high-power CO2 lasers possess unusual advantages: the laser physics and technology are well developed and can be scaled to megajoule class systems for affordable costs; existing systems (for example, Helios) have achieved overall efficiencies of 1-2%; and, through the use of optical multiplexing, efficiency improvements of an order of magnitude appear feasible.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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