A laser amplifier includes an input aperture operable to receive laser radiation having a first polarization, an output aperture coupled to the input aperture by an optical path, and a polarizer disposed along an optical path. A transmission axis of the polarizer is aligned with the first polarization. The laser amplifier also includes n optical switch disposed along the optical path. The optical switch is operable to pass the laser radiation when operated in a first state and to reflect the laser radiation when operated in a second state. The laser amplifier further includes an optical gain element disposed along the optical path and a polarization rotation device disposed along the optical path.
STATEMENT AS TO RIGHTS TO INVENTIONS MADE UNDER FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the U.S. Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC, for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.