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Proceedings Paper

Time-resolved beam profiler for pulsed lasers
Author(s): David I. Klick; Frederick K. Knight
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Paper Abstract

A high-speed imaging device based on a streak camera has been demonstrated, which provides multiple images from non-repeatable transient events of time scale >= 1 ns. It can be employed for pulsed laser beam diagnostics, measuring laser beam spatial and temporal structure on a single-pulse basis. The system currently has angular resolution of 16 X 16 pixels, with a time resolution of 250 ps. The laser beam width is sized to fill the input optic, and the image is dissected by a square array of optical fibers. At the other end of the fiber optic image converter, the 256 fibers form a line array, which is input to the slit of a streak camera. The streak camera sweeps the input line across the output phosphor screen so that position is directly proportional to time. The resulting 2-D image (fiber position vs. time) at the phosphor is read by an intensified (SIT) vidicon TV tube, and the image is digitized and stored. A computer subsequently decodes the image, unscrambling the linear pixels into an angle-angle image at each time. We are left with a series of snapshots, each one depicting the laser beam spatial profile (intensity cross-section) at succeeding moments in time. The system can currently record several hundred images over a span of 25 to 400 ns. This detector can study lasers of pulse width >= 1 ns and with a visible wavelength (200 - 900 nm). Candidate lasers include doubled Nd:YAG, excimer, ruby, nitrogen, metal vapor, and Ti:Sapphire. The system could also be simply configured as an 8 X 8 element wavefront sensor to record the cross-sectional distribution of phase, as well as amplitude. Finally, suggestions for system improvement are detailed, and the ultimate limitations of the method in terms of spatial and temporal resolution are discussed.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 April 1993
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1834, Laser Energy Distribution Profiles: Measurement and Applications, (22 April 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.143864
Show Author Affiliations
David I. Klick, Lincoln Lab./MIT (United States)
Frederick K. Knight, Lincoln Lab./MIT (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1834:
Laser Energy Distribution Profiles: Measurement and Applications
James M. Darchuk, Editor(s)

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