The Carbon Monoxide Laser

A Review

by Chuan-Chong Chen

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The potential usefulness of the carbon monoxide (CO) laser in aerospace science and technology is demonstrated by the fact that it is comparable with the argon ion laser in power and better than the carbon dioxide laser in efficiency. In view of the unique operational requirements of the CO laser, the newly proposed E-beam excited CO gas dynamic laser seems to be the optimum design for a high-power laser since it possesses the potential of having both the high efficiency of an electrically excited CO GDL and the high power of a thermally pumped CO GDL. There exist many lines of a CO laser that have equal or better transmittance than those of a CO2 laser. Therefore, the CO laser may prove to be a close competitor for the CO2 laser if, in the future, its output power would match that of the CO2 laser.

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