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Proceedings Paper • Open Access

Space- and ground-based non-accelerated long lifetime data for ruggedized commercial NPRO lasers
Author(s): C. G. Asbury; L. I. Dorsky; N. M. Nerheim; S. Forouhar; D. M. Rider; E. Y. Chu; B. M. Fisher; R. S. Valencia; M. R. Montero; T. J. Kane

Paper Abstract

Lifetime data is presented for ruggedized commercial NPRO lasers used in the Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer (TES) Instrument on NASA’s Aura Earth-orbiting spacecraft, including 20 years of data from two life test units on the ground, 12 years of on-orbit data from TES Laser A, and 2 years of on-orbit data from TES Laser B. The TES lasers are diode-pumped Non-Planar Ring Oscillator (NPRO) lasers using Nd:YAG crystals. Since accelerated life testing was not possible on the complete laser, early prototype lasers that had gone through thermal cycling and vibration testing were placed on non-accelerated life tests with the hope of gathering at least a couple of years of data before launch. Long-term lifetime data for hybrid laser systems in space applications is not abundant, and out of necessity, accelerated reliability testing is usually done over a relatively short time with a large number of devices. The data presented in this paper is unique as it tracks the optical power output over time of a total of four lasers on the order of decades rather than months or years. Two of the lasers have each been on life test for over 20 years on the ground and are still operating, and the other two lasers have been on-orbit for 14 years. TES Laser A was still operating when the TES Instrument was decommissioned in January 2018. Therefore, the data presented covers over 450,000 non-accelerated device-hours, with 23% of those hours being in space.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 July 2019
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 11180, International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018, 1118019 (12 July 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2535964
Show Author Affiliations
C. G. Asbury, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
L. I. Dorsky, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
N. M. Nerheim, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
S. Forouhar, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
D. M. Rider, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
E. Y. Chu, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
B. M. Fisher, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
R. S. Valencia, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
M. R. Montero, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
T. J. Kane, Consultant (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11180:
International Conference on Space Optics — ICSO 2018
Zoran Sodnik; Nikos Karafolas; Bruno Cugny, Editor(s)

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