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Proceedings Paper

Laser speckle and atmospheric scintillation dependence on laser spectral bandwidth
Author(s): David Dayton; John Gonglewski; Chad St. Arnauld
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Paper Abstract

Recent advances in low-cost high power diode lasers have made available a new type of illuminator source for LADAR remote sensing systems. These sources tend to be smaller more rugged, and have better power conversion efficiency than more conventional pumped crystal solid state lasers. They can be run in short pulse or long pulse modes with pulse repetitions from DC to 10s of kilohertz. Although they don't have the peak power of a Q-switched laser, they make up for it in higher average power. They also tend to have large optical band widths. These factors make them well suited to direct detection, as opposed to coherent detection, since the lower source coherence reduces detrimental atmospheric effects related to speckle noise and scintillation of the outgoing beam. In this paper we discuss these effects and situations where diode lasers provide an advantage when working through long slant paths. Laboratory measurements are presented to illustrate the image improvement using less coherent diode lasers for imaging LADARs.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 October 2009
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 7476, Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems XII, 74760A (1 October 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.832056
Show Author Affiliations
David Dayton, Applied Technology Associates (United States)
John Gonglewski, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
Chad St. Arnauld, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7476:
Optics in Atmospheric Propagation and Adaptive Systems XII
Anton Kohnle; Karin Stein; John D. Gonglewski, Editor(s)

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