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Proceedings Paper

Development of a high-speed wavelength-agile CO2 local oscillator for heterodyne DIAL measurements
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Paper Abstract

A high repetition rate, wavelength agile CO2 laser has been developed at the Air Force Research Laboratory for use as a local oscillator in a heterodyne detection receiver. Fats wavelength selection is required for measurements of airborne chemical vapors using the differential absorption lidar (DIAL) technique. Acousto-optic modulator are used to tune between different wavelengths at high speeds without the need for moving mechanical parts. Other advantages obtained by the use of acousto-optic modulators are laser output power control per wavelength and rugged packaging for field applications. The local oscillator design is described, and the results from laboratory DIAL measurements are presented. The coherent remote optical sensor system is an internal research project being conducted by the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate, Active Remote Sensing Branch. The objective of the project is to develop a new long-range standoff spectral sensor that takes advantage of the enhanced performance capabilities coherent detection can provide. Emphasis of the development is on a low cost, compact, and rugged active sensor exclusively designed for heterodyne detection using the differential absorption lidar technique. State of the art technologies in waveguide laser construction and acousto- optics make feasible the next generation of lasers capable of supporting coherent lidar system requirements. Issues addressed as part of the development include optoelectronic engineering of a low cost rugged system, and fast data throughput for real time chemical concentration measurements. All hardware used in this sensor are off-the- shelf items, so only minor hardware modifications were required for the system as it stands. This paper describes a high-speed heterodyne detection CO2 DIAL system that employs a wavelength agile, acousto-optically tuned local oscillator in the receiver. Sample experimental data collected in a controlled environment are presented as well. Chemical detection using 12 wavelengths at 200 pulses per second has been demonstrated. Initial progress on experiments to make a direct, simultaneous comparison of heterodyne and direct detection DIAL systems will also be described.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 June 2002
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 4722, Chemical and Biological Sensing III, (24 June 2002); doi: 10.1117/12.472264
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel C. Senft, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Diego F. Pierrottet, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4722:
Chemical and Biological Sensing III
Patrick J. Gardner, Editor(s)

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