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Proceedings Paper

Rapidly tunable acousto-optic spectrometer for a space environment
Author(s): David C. Thompson; Clifford J. Hewitt; Carl W. Wilson
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Paper Abstract

As a complement to our work developing rapidly-tunable (approximately 10 - 100 kHz) CO2 lasers for differential absorption lidar (DIAL) applications, we have developed a rapidly-tunable spectrometer. A rapid spectral diagnostic is critical for a high speed DIAL system, since analysis of the return signals depend on knowing the spectral purity of the transmitted beam. The spectrometer developed for our lidar system is based on a double-passed large- (75 mm) aperture acousto-optic deflector, a grating, and a fast single-element room temperature mercury-cadmium-telluride detector. The spectrometer has a resolution of approximately 0.5 cm-1, a tuning range of 9.0 - 11.4 micrometers , a random-access tuning speed of greater than 80 kHz and a S/N ratio of greater than 100:1. We describe the design and performance of this device, as well as of future devices featuring improved resolution, higher speed and easier and more robust alignment. We will also briefly discuss the applications and limitations of the technique in a space environment.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 October 2000
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 4134, Photonics for Space Environments VII, (26 October 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.405337
Show Author Affiliations
David C. Thompson, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Clifford J. Hewitt, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)
Carl W. Wilson, Los Alamos National Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4134:
Photonics for Space Environments VII
Edward W. Taylor, Editor(s)

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