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Proceedings Paper

Wavelength agile CO2 laser for chemical sensing
Author(s): David B. Cohn; Jay A. Fox; Cynthia R. Swim
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Paper Abstract

A compact, wavelength agile laser and sensor have been developed for remote detection of chemicals. The laser is a computer- controlled, sealed TEA CO2 device with internal catalyst that operates at a maximum firing and wavelength shift rate of 200 Hz with 40% duty cycle. The wavelength shifter, composed of a fixed grating and galvanometer-mounted mirror, operates in repeating patterns with access to 55 lines in the CO2 spectrum in any order. Multi-mode output energy exceeds 125 mJ for all lines and the output pulse is composed of a 120 nsec wide gain-switched spike, followed by a 1.5 microsecond(s) ec tail. Environmental testing was successfully carried out under a 3 g shock, 2 g sine wave vibration, and a 0-40 degree(s)C temperature range. An operational lifetime exceeding 50 million shots was demonstrated with tests terminated by the operator, not a malfunction. The fully integrated laser weighs 100 pounds and requires only a source of 28 Vdc to operate. The laser was integrated with a sensor and in successful field trials the sensor noise was found to be 1-2%, measurement of atmospheric water vapor was within the accuracy of meteorological instruments; and measurement of concentration-path length product for chemicals in a vapor chamber approached the value expected for the noise figure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 1994
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 2118, Gas, Metal Vapor, and Free-Electron Lasers and Applications, (25 May 1994); doi: 10.1117/12.176650
Show Author Affiliations
David B. Cohn, Hughes Aircraft Co. (United States)
Jay A. Fox, U.S. Army Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate (United States)
Cynthia R. Swim, U.S. Army Chemical and Biological Defense Command (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2118:
Gas, Metal Vapor, and Free-Electron Lasers and Applications
Vern N. Smiley; Frank K. Tittel, Editor(s)

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