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The Application of a Schlieren System to Study the Interaction Between a TEA CO2 Laser Beam and a Water Column
C-Y. Cui, Y-J. Hong, N-L. Li, J-F. Ye and G-Q. He

For the first time work has been conducted to obtain the velocity of a shock wave produced by interaction between a TEA CO2 laser beam and a column of water. The progressive development of the resulting plasma and its effect on the flow field were observed clearly by means of a Schlieren system and a high speed imaging system. The results showed that the velocity of the shock wave can arrive at more than 35 km/s, which was approximately an order of magnitude higher than what was observed previously from the interaction between the TEA CO2 laser beam and air. These findings are of great value for instances where water is applied as the propellant in laser propulsion.

Keywords: CO2 laser, laser propulsion, shock wave, Schlieren system, water column

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