Q-Peak has demonstrated a novel pulsed eyesafe laser architecture operating with >50 mJ pulse energies at Pulse Repetition Frequencies (PRFs) as high as 320 Hz. The design leverages an Optical Parametric Oscillator (OPO) and Optical Parametric Amplifier (OPA) geometry, which provides the unique capability for high power in a comparatively compact package, while also offering the potential for additional eyesafe power scaling. The laser consists of a Commercial Off-the-Shelf (COTS) Q-switched front-end seed laser to produce pulse-widths around 10 ns at 1.06-μm, which is then followed by a pair of Multi-Pass Amplifier (MPA) architectures (comprised of side-pumped, multi-pass Nd:YAG slabs with a compact diode-pump-array imaging system), and finally involving two sequential nonlinear optical conversion architectures for transfer into the eyesafe regime. The initial seed beam is first amplified through the MPA, and then split into parallel optical paths. An OPO provides effective nonlinear conversion on one optical path, while a second MPA further amplifies the 1.06-μm beam for use in pumping an OPA on the second optical path. These paths are then recombined prior to seeding the OPA. Each nonlinear conversion subsystem utilizes Potassium Titanyl Arsenate (KTA) for effective nonlinear conversion with lower risk to optical damage. This laser architecture efficiently produces pulse energies of >50 mJ in the eyesafe band at PRFs as high as 320 Hz, and has been designed to fit within a volume of 4,500 in3 (0.074 m3 ). We will discuss theoretical and experimental details of the nonlinear optical system for achieving higher eyesafe powers.
N. Baranova, B. Pati, K. Stebbins, I. Bystryak, M. Rayno, K. Ezzo, and C. DePriest, "Advanced laser architectures for high power eyesafe illuminators," Proc. SPIE 10511, Solid State Lasers XXVII: Technology and Devices, 105110E (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 29, 2018; Published: 15 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290541.
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