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Proceedings Paper

High-repetition-rate solid state laser for space communications
Author(s): Christian Larat; Muriel Schwarz; Jean-Paul Pocholle; Gilles Feugnet; Michel Roger Papuchon
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Paper Abstract

The CNES (Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales, French space agency) established the laser system characteristics for Mars-Earth spatial communications using the Pulse Position Modulation technique. Today, diode-pumped solid-state lasers are under intense research and development. Indeed, in comparison with flash-lamp pumped laser, they offer significant advantages in terms of efficiency, compactness, lifetime and high beam quality. We have demonstrated that gain-switch operation is preferable to Q-switching technique to control and to obtain a good pulse width and amplitude reproducibility. The pulse width requirement and the laser-diode pumping scheme lead to a preferred configuration based on a microchip laser oscillator coupled to an amplifier. Best results were performed with a Nd:YVO4 microchip longitudinally-pumped by fiber-coupled laser-diode bar. Diffraction limited beam, 15 ns pulse width and 100 kHz repetition rate were achieved. The output beam was actually also single frequency and linearly polarized. A transversally-diode-pumped 7-pass amplifier is also demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 April 1995
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 2381, Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VII, (20 April 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.207408
Show Author Affiliations
Christian Larat, Thomson-CSF (France)
Muriel Schwarz, Thomson-CSF (France)
Jean-Paul Pocholle, Thomson-CSF (France)
Gilles Feugnet, Thomson-CSF (France)
Michel Roger Papuchon, Thomson-CSF (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2381:
Free-Space Laser Communication Technologies VII
G. Stephen Mecherle, Editor(s)

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