File:Nike laser amplifier.jpg
Final amplifier of the Nike laser where laser beam energy is increased from 150 J to ~5 kJ by passing through a krypton/fluorine/argon gas mixture excited by irradiation with two opposing 670,000 volt electron beams.
The Nike laser at the United States Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, DC is a 56 beam, 4-5 kJ per pulse electron beam pumped krypton fluoride excimer laser which operates in the ultraviolet at 248 nm with pulsewidths of a few nanoseconds. Nike was completed in the late 1980s and is used for investigations into inertial confinement fusion. By using a KrF laser with induced spatial incoherence (ISI) optical smoothing, the modulations in the laser focal profile (beam intensity anisotropy) are only 1% in one beam and < 0.3% with a 44-beam overlap. This feature is especially important for minimizing the seeding of Rayleigh-Taylor instabilities in the imploding fusion target capsule plasma.