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Proceedings Paper

Development of highly compact and low power consumption athermal military laser designators
Author(s): A. Sijan
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Paper Abstract

The utility of military lasers, particularly in the area of laser designation for laser-guided weapons, is well understood. Laser systems based on Nd:YAG have been fielded since the 1980’s and over the last three decades have introduced incremental technology steps to improve performance and weight. The most recent technology step has been the introduction of athermal lasers based on laser-diode pumping of Nd:YAG and products are now emerging for use on the battlefield. The technical performance, efficiency, size, weight and power for these lasers, has been key to driving the new production designs. In this paper, we review the development of the laser designs and their introduction since the advent of laser designation. In particular, we compare the relative performance and characteristics over the evolution of fielded laser designators. Moreover, we will review the key building blocks for the design of athermal lasers and describe some critical design issues for engineering and productionisation of a military laser system, including removal of thermal lensing, novel diode-pumping schemes and robustness over the environment. These will be exemplified using results from the development of the SELEX Galileo Type 163 Laser Target Designators. These will cover not only technical performance, power and efficiency, but also thermal management, mass, volume, cost and overall complexity for manufacture.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 October 2012
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 8541, Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications IX, 85410U (24 October 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.974522
Show Author Affiliations
A. Sijan, SELEX Galileo Ltd. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8541:
Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications IX
David A. Huckridge; Reinhard R. Ebert, Editor(s)

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