This paper discusses how the focal power of the thermal lens that appears in the active element of a YAG:Nd laser with transverse pumping by thirty linear laser-diode arrays having a total optical power of up to 600 W depends on the pump power and the temperature of the laser diodes. The optimum working temperature as a function of the diode current is determined. The power balance during diode pumping is considered, and the contributions of various mechanisms to the thermal processes in the crystal of the active element are determined. A practical technique is described for calculating thermal lenses in solid-state lasers with transverse diode pumping. © 2003 Optical Society of America

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