A Quantitative Theory of an Electron-Beam-Excited Carbon Monoxide Gas Dynamic Laser

I. Formulation

by Chuan-Chong Chen

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A new concept for a high power CO gas dynamic laser, coupling a supersonic expansion nozzle and an electron beam preionizer-sustainer discharge system, that promises both the high efficiency of an electrically pumped CO GDL and the high power of a thermally pumped CO GDL. CO GDLs are still in the laboratory stage, but a laser efficiency of 47% has been obtained in an electric CO laser--the highest so far attained with an electric CO2 laser is 33%. CO lasers' broadband spectral output makes it possible to choose the lines to match preferred transmission windows. The superiority of the proposed laser to existing CO lasers for atmospheric application is shown. General operational characteristics of a CO laser, and a state of the art review of the various types of continuous-wave CO lasers are given. The principle of anharmonic (V-V) pumping is presented, and the excitation and inversion mechanisms of these CO lasers are described. Finally, a quantitative theory is formulated to describe the new laser, and then a frozen flow approximation of the problem is proposed.

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