High performance in combination with small size, low weight and low power consumption are among the main drivers in modern defense and commercial applications of laser systems. Consequently, designers of such systems strive for innovative solutions in the field of laser technology. Ten years ago Safran Vectronix AG (hereafter Vectronix) pioneered these activities with the fielding of the first fiber laser for hand-held rangefinders. This paper will deal with the latest evolution of an eye-safe fiber laser source which can emit two wavelengths for an extended range of applications. In order to comply with high performance requirements the laser on one side has to produce high enough pulse energy and on the other side – especially due to the ever increasing requirement for compactness – to use so called single-stage amplification in combination with bending insensitive fiber solutions. Also, the ASE (Amplified Spontaneous Emission) has to be reduced as much as possible as this light enters the eye safety equation but does not contribute in terms of range performance. All of this has to meet severe environmental requirements typical for most demanding defense applications. Additionally, the laser in its rangefinding mode has to produce a sequence of high frequency pulses in such a way that no substantial temperature effects would arise and thus impair either the pulse energy or the boresight alignment. Additionally, in this paper, a compact dual-stage dual-wavelength version of the above laser will be described, which has been developed to generate much stronger pulses for very long rangefinding applications.
Christian Ban and Dusan Zadravec, "A compact dual-wavelength fiber laser: some design aspects," Proc. SPIE 10192, Laser Technology for Defense and Security XIII, 101920G (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 11, 2017; Published: 1 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262472.
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