A numeric model has been developed to identify the critical components and parameters in improving the output beam quality of a flashlamp pumped Q-switched Nd:YAG laser with a folded Porro-prism resonator and polarization output coupling. The heating of the laser material and accompanying thermo-optical effects are calculated using the finite element partial differential equations package FEMLAB allowing arbitrary geometries and time distributions. The laser gain and the cavity are modeled with the physical optics simulation code GLAD including effects such as gain profile, thermal lensing and stress-induced birefringence, the Pockels cell rise-time and component aberrations. The model is intended to optimize the pumping process of an OPO providing radiation to be used for ranging, imaging or optical countermeasures.© (2005) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.