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Proceedings Paper

Laser beam steering via wave mixing in volumetric thermal gratings
Author(s): David W. Tyler
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Paper Abstract

A volumetric thermal grating (VTG) is a spatially periodic refractive index variation in a volume of gas or liquid, generated by imaging interference fringes into the medium. The fringes can be created and varied by steering laser write beams electronically with acousto- optic (A-O) cells. While the wavelength of the write beams is chosen to be absorbed by a dopant in the VTG medium, a read beam at an off-resonance wavelength can be manipulated by diffraction from the resulting index grating. Potential applications include resonator and amplifier optical isolation prepulse suppression in high-gain amplifiers, noninertial steering of large-diameter laser beams, transfer of phase information between beams to facilitate adaptive optics, Q-switching of chemical lasers, and line selection in broadband lasers. In this paper, we present a preliminary assessment of VTG utility for these optical systems applications by quantitative analysis of the medium density dynamics. In Section 2, we derive a relation between A-O acoustic frequency uncertainty and VTG pointing/steering uncertainty, which also scales desired steering range to required A-O frequency modulation bandwidth. In Section 3, we discuss the temporal response of a doped rare-gas VTG medium. Section 4 is an assessment of VTG beam-steering performance potential using available technology.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1992
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 1625, Design, Modeling, and Control of Laser Beam Optics, (1 June 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.58931
Show Author Affiliations
David W. Tyler, Phillips Lab. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1625:
Design, Modeling, and Control of Laser Beam Optics
Youssef Kohanzadeh; George N. Lawrence; John G. McCoy; Hugo Weichel, Editor(s)

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