A 50-kW Module Power Station of Directly Solar-Pumped Iodine Laser

[+] Author and Article Information
S. H. Choi, J. H. Lee, W. E. Meador, E. J. Conway

NASA Langley Research Center, Hampton, VA 23681-0001

J. Sol. Energy Eng 119(4), 304-311 (Nov 01, 1997) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.2888037 History: Received December 01, 1993; Revised March 01, 1997; Online February 14, 2008


The conceptual design of a 50 kW directly solar-pumped iodine laser (DSPIL) module was developed for a space-based power station which transmits its coherent-beam power to users such as the moon, Martian rovers, or other satellites with large (>25 kW) electric power requirements. Integration of multiple modules would provide an amount of power that exceeds the power of a single module by combining and directing the coherent beams to the user’s receiver. The model developed for the DSPIL system conservatively predicts the laser output power (50 kW) that appears much less than the laser output (93 kW) obtained from the gain volume ratio extrapolation of experimental data. The difference in laser outputs may be attributed to reflector configurations adopted in both design and experiment. Even though the photon absorption by multiple reflections in experimental cavity setup was more efficient, the maximum secondary absorption amounts to be only 24.7 percent of the primary. However, the gain volume ratio shows 86 percent more power output than theoretical estimation that is roughly 60 percent more than the contribution by the secondary absorption. Such a difference indicates that the theoretical model adopted in the study underestimates the overall performance of the DSPIL. This fact may tolerate more flexible and radical selection of design parameters than used in this design study. The design achieves an overall specific power of approximately 5 W/kg and total mass of 10 metric tons.

Copyright © 1997 by The American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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