Proceedings PaperAlternatives To Q-Spoiled Ruby Rangefinders
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The ruby rangefinders currently being developed for the military present a serious eye hazard, even at ranges beyond several kilometers. In an effort to find suitable alternatives outside of the visible spectrum, a number of possible systems have been examined from the point of view of available laser sources, atmospheric transmission, and available detectors. Detailed comparisons are made of systems operating in the visible, ultraviolet, and infrared. Results indicate that a system employing a Q-spoiled Erbium glass laser operating at 1.54 microns and a germanium avalanche diode detector will provide performance more than an order of magnitude superior to a ruby rangefinder using an S-20 photomultiplier and an equivalent laser pump power. Furthermore, operation at this wavelength appears to offer more than adequate protection against the eye hazard problem.