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Proceedings Paper

Laser Radar Wavelength Selection And Trade-Offs
Author(s): M. John Yoder; Douglas G. Youmans
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Paper Abstract

Shorter wavelength lasers have advantages over longer wavelength lasers due to their narrower beam divergence angles and larger Doppler frequency shifts. However these potential advantages may not always be useable since they pose stringent requirements on beam pointer/tracker accuracies and on the laser gain medium optical distortions (spatially and temporally). Wavelength scaling equations are discussed which numerically show these advantages and limitations. Both coherent and non-coherent systems are evaluated, but the main emphasis is on coherent systems. The advantages of shorter wavelengths are often not as great as initially perceived. The wavelength variation of target cross section and the reflected laser speckle pattern are discussed. Single speckle-lobe detection imposes wavelength dependent limits on the receiver aperture. Speckle pattern rotation and translation puts limits on coherent detection times vs. wavelength, but velocity resolution is unchanged with wavelength. Laser propagation through the atmosphere is briefly reviewed for various laser wavelengths. The "maturity" and "applicability" of laser technology is discussed as a function of laser wavelength.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 February 1989
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 0999, Laser Radar III, (18 February 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.960226
Show Author Affiliations
M. John Yoder, W. J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)
Douglas G. Youmans, W. J. Schafer Associates, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0999:
Laser Radar III
Richard J. Becherer, Editor(s)

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