Fibertek has developed an injection locked, resonantly pumped Er:YAG solid-state laser operating at 1.6 μm capable of pulse repetition rates of 1 kHz to 10 kHz for airborne methane and water differential absorption lidars. The laser is resonantly pumped with a fiber-coupled 1532 nm diode laser minimizing the quantum defect and thermal loading generating tunable single-frequency output of 1645-1646 nm with a linewidth of < 100 MHz. The frequency-doubled 1.6 μm Er:YAG laser emits wavelengths in the 822-823 nm spectrum, coincident with water vapor lines. Various cavity designs were studied and optimized for compactness and performance, with the optimal design being an injection seeded and locked five-mirror ring cavity. The laser generated 4 W of average power at pulse repetition frequencies (PRFs) of 1 kHz and 10 kHz, corresponding to 4 mJ and 400 μJ pulse energies, respectively. The 1645 nm was subsequently frequency doubled to 822.5 nm with a 600 pm tuning range covering multiple water absorption lines, with a pulse energy of 1 mJ and a pulse repetition frequency of 1 kHz. The resonator cavity was locked to the seed wavelength via a Pound Drever Hall (PDH) technique and an analog Proportional Integral Derivative (PID) Controller driving a high-bandwidth piezoelectric (PZT)-mounted cavity mirror. Two seed sources lasing on and off the methane absorption line were optically switched to tune the resonator wavelength on and off the methane absorption line between each sequential output pulse. The cavity locking servo maintained the cavity resonance for each pulse.
Moran Chen, Patrick M. Burns, Viatcheslav Litvinovitch, Mark Storm, and Nicholas W. Sawruk, "Er:YAG laser technology for remote sensing applications," Proc. SPIE 10006, Lidar Technologies, Techniques, and Measurements for Atmospheric Remote Sensing XII, 1000603 (Presented at SPIE Remote Sensing: September 26, 2016; Published: 24 October 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2242119.
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