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Proceedings Paper

Solid state Raman laser for MMT sodium guide star
Author(s): W. Thomas Roberts; James T. Murray; William Lucas Austin; Richard C. Powell; James Roger P. Angel
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Paper Abstract

Generation of sodium guide stars for adaptive optics requires very precise control of the frequency and bandwidth of the laser to maximize the brightness of the generated guide star. The ruggedness, efficiency and ease of use of a solid state system has great potential for improving the reliability and power of the laser guide star over the dye laser system currently used. The dearth of solid state transitions at the precise wavelength required for exciting resonance scattering in sodium drives us toward Raman shifting to downshift a nearby solid-state transition line tuned to work with the Raman-shifting material. The system being developed for the 6.5 meter multiple mirror telescope (MMT) takes two approaches to creating the sodium guide star: one uses YGAG to maximize the Raman-shifted output at the sodium D2 resonance. The second approach is to thermally tune the output of YAG to reach the appropriate wavelength for Raman shifting to 589 nm. Initial results from YGAG indicate that it will not be a suitable material for creating the sodium guide star laser. Initial results from the YGAG laser is presented, along with a discussion of the potential of the technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 September 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3353, Adaptive Optical System Technologies, (11 September 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.321626
Show Author Affiliations
W. Thomas Roberts, Lite Cycles, Inc. (United States)
James T. Murray, Lite Cycles, Inc. (United States)
William Lucas Austin, Lite Cycles, Inc. (United States)
Richard C. Powell, Optical Sciences Ctr./Univ. of Arizona (United States)
James Roger P. Angel, Steward Observatory/Univ. of Arizona (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3353:
Adaptive Optical System Technologies
Domenico Bonaccini; Robert K. Tyson, Editor(s)

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