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The damage testing facility at AWRE was established to support the manufacture and procurement of optical materials and coatings for the HELEN Nd glass laser system. The damage testing facility uses two laser systems both operating at 1064 run with pulse lengths of 330 ps and 10 ns respectively. This paper describes the facility, its operation and methods of beam diagnostics. The results of damage tests are given on a variety of coatings manufactured at AWRE, from traditional multilayer dielectrics to high damage level chemically processed AR coatings. Also discussed are methods of examining and testing laser glass discs for inclusions.
Laser damage, optical coating, inclusions, beam diagnostics
Atomic Weapons Research Establishment, Aldermaston, Berkshire