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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Mixed garnet laser for a water vapour DIAL
Author(s): Rainer Treichel; Stephan Strohmaier; Susanne Nikolov; Hans-Joachim Eichler; Eamonn Murphy

Paper Abstract

For the water vapour DIAL “WALES” the wavelength regions around 935 nm, 942 nm and 944 nm have been identified as the most suitable wavelength ranges. These wavelengths can be obtained using opticalparametric-oscillators (OPOs), stimulated Raman shifters and the Ti-Sapphire laser but none of these systems could deliver all the needed parameters like beam quality, efficiency, pulse length and energy yet. Also these systems are comparably big and heavy making them less suitable for a satellite based application.

A fourth possibility to achieve these wavelength ranges is to shift the quasi-3-level laser lines (938 nm and 946 nm) of the Nd:YAG laser by replacing aluminium and yttrium by other rare earth elements. Changes of the host lattice characteristics lead to a shift of the upper and lower laser levels.

These modified crystals are summarized under the name of "Mixed Garnet" crystals. Only the Mixed Garnet lasers can be pumped directly with diode laser and use a direct approach to generate the required laser pulses without frequency conversion. Therefore no additional non-linear crystals or special pump lasers are needed and a higher electric to optical efficiency is expected as well as single frequency operation using spectral tuning elements like etalons.

In a first phase such mixed garnet crystals had been grown and characterised. The outcome was the selection of the gadolinium-scandium garnet for the most suitable laser crystal. During a second phase the complete laser system with output energy about 18 mJ in single 20 ns pulses and up to 8 mJ in free running mode with a combined pulse width of 250 μs at 942 nm have been demonstrated.

The results of the first laser operation and the achieved performance parameter are reported.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 November 2017
PDF: 4 pages
Proc. SPIE 10567, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2006, 105671H (21 November 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2308051
Show Author Affiliations
Rainer Treichel, EADS ASTRIUM GmbH (Germany)
Stephan Strohmaier, Technical Univ. of Berlin (Germany)
Susanne Nikolov, EADS ASTRIUM GmbH (Germany)
Hans-Joachim Eichler, Technical Univ. of Berlin (Germany)
Eamonn Murphy, ESA-ESTEC (Netherlands)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10567:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2006
Errico Armandillo; Josiane Costeraste; Nikos Karafolas, Editor(s)

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