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Absorption Saturation Effects on High-Power CO2 Laser Beam Transmission

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Abstract

A theoretical and numerical investigation is made of the effect on a beam of 10.6-μm radiation of absorption saturation of the CO2 molecules in its path. Saturation of the CO2 absorption cross section sets in under irradiation at high power levels when induced emission balances the resonant absorption. We show by means of computer plots that soon after a high-power beam with a parabolic profile is turned on, a caustic may form near its boundary as a result of CO2 absorption saturation in the central portion. At high altitudes we show that absorption saturation can lead to enhanced transmission over long distances.

© 1973 Optical Society of America

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