A new electron-beam-initiated laser system has been developed at Los Alamos to explore a recently discovered operating regime of chemical lasers. This parameter space is attained by initiating a chemical reaction weakly and over a long time duration while maintaining a high internal optical flux within the laser cavity throughout the burn. By operating in this regime, relatively high specific energies can be produced at extremely high electrical efficiencies. Laser pulse lengths range in the area of 40-100 μs, which permit the transport of high fluences through the atmosphere without breakdown.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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