Q-Peak has demonstrated a novel, compact, pulsed eyesafe laser architecture operating with <10 mJ pulse energies at repetition rates as high as 160 Hz. The design leverages an end-pumped solid-state laser geometry to produce adequate eyesafe beam quality (M2 ~4), while also providing a path towards higher-density laser architectures for pulsed eyesafe applications. The baseline discussed in this paper has shown a unique capability for high pulse repetition rates in a compact package, and offers additional potential for power scaling based on birefringence compensation. The laser consists of an actively Q-switched oscillator cavity producing pulse-widths <30 ns, and utilizing an end-pumped Nd: YAG gain medium with a Rubidium Titanyl Phosphate (RTP) electro-optical crystal. The oscillator provides an effective front-end-seed for an optical parametric oscillator (OPO), which utilizes Potassium Titanyl Arsenate (KTA) in a linear OPO geometry. This laser efficiently operates in the eyesafe band, and has been designed to fit within a volume of 3760 cm3. We will discuss details of the optical system design, modeled thermal effects and stress-induced birefringence, as well as experimental advantages of the end-pumped laser geometry, along with proposed paths to higher eyesafe pulse energies.
N. Baranova, R. Pu, K. Stebbins, I. Bystryak, M. Rayno, K. Ezzo, and C. DePriest, "Compact sources for eyesafe illumination," Proc. SPIE 10082, Solid State Lasers XXVI: Technology and Devices, 1008209 (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 30, 2017; Published: 17 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252858.
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