Energy coupling in short pulse laser solid interactions and its impact for space debris removal

David Neely, Ric Allott, Bob Bingham, John Collier, Justin Greenhalgh, Max Michaelis, Jonathan Phillips, Claude R. Phipps, Paul McKenna

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Abstract

Significant advances have been made over the last decade to improve the performance, efficiency, and contrast of high peak and average power laser systems, driven by their use in a wide variety of fields, from the industrial to the scientific. As the contrast of the lasers has improved, interactions with contrasts of 1012 are now routinely undertaken. At such high contrasts, there is negligible preplasma formation and the ionized surface layer created by subpicosecond-duration pulses typically forms a highly reflective "plasma mirror" capable of reflecting between 70% and 90% of the incident energy. Although such interactions are of significant interest for applications such as harmonic source production and to enable the underlying physics to be studied, their low absorption can limit their usefulness for applications such as space debris removal.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-44
Number of pages4
JournalApplied Optics
Volume53
Issue number31
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2014

Keywords

  • energy couplings
  • harmonic sources
  • highly reflective
  • incident energy
  • plasma mirrors
  • short-pulse lasers
  • space debris removals
  • surface layers

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