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Laser ignition

United States Patent

6,676,402
January 13, 2004
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Los Alamos National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer Division Website
Sequenced pulses of light from an excitation laser with at least two resonator cavities with separate output couplers are directed through a light modulator and a first polarzing analyzer. A portion of the light not rejected by the first polarizing analyzer is transported through a first optical fiber into a first ignitor laser rod in an ignitor laser. Another portion of the light is rejected by the first polarizing analyzer and directed through a halfwave plate into a second polarization analyzer. A first portion of the output of the second polarization analyzer passes through the second polarization analyzer to a second, oscillator, laser rod in the ignitor laser. A second portion of the output of the second polarization analyzer is redirected by the second polarization analyzer to a second optical fiber which delays the beam before the beam is combined with output of the first ignitor laser rod. Output of the second laser rod in the ignitor laser is directed into the first ignitor laser rod which was energized by light passing through the first polarizing analyzer. Combined output of the first ignitor laser rod and output of the second optical fiber is focused into a combustible fuel where the first short duration, high peak power pulse from the ignitor laser ignites the fuel and the second long duration, low peak power pulse directly from the excitation laser sustains the combustion.
Early; James W. (Los Alamos, NM), Lester; Charles S. (San Juan Pueblo, NM)
The Regents of the University of California (Los Alamos, NM)
09/ 927,862
August 10, 2001
This invention was made with government support under Contract No. W-7405-ENG-36 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.