|Lead vapor Raman cell.|
This cell was made as part of an experiment to create an exotic space-based laser. It didn't work (kind of like the rest of the whole "Star Wars" program we all spent so much money on). Oh well, what's a few billion dollars here or there if we get some good surplus junk out of the deal, right? The source of this sample supplied the following information:
These Raman cells were looked into for the "Star Wars" project. Supposedly an excimer laser zapped through the cell that turned the beam to a deep blue laser pulse with very high power in the megawatt range. The deep blue light could penetrate to abysmal depths and communicate (arming codes etc) to submarines without being intercepted very easily was the idea. The cell is made of high grade quartz and must have been "fun" to make. You can see one reason why the project was scrapped: the intense UV light caused the cell to solarize (small dime size burn) and at the high temperature left pure silicon in the beam path. On earth it would be a simple matter of changing out the cell when it went bad, but in space... Not to mention the power consumption of a megawatt pulse class excimer laser, even bigger size nuclear rtg units would be straining to power the laser, not to mention excimers are notoriously finicky about cooling and gas mixture issues. In all they wasted about $250,000,000 dollars on this part of project or so I have been told.Lead vapor: What a concept!
Source: eBay seller heruur
Contributor: eBay seller heruur
Acquired: 24 December, 2003