17 February 2017 Novel pump head design for high energy 1064 nm oscillator amplifier system for lidar applications
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Abstract
Many scientific endeavors are benefitted by the development of increasingly high energy laser sources for lidar applications. Space-based applications for lidar require compact, efficient and high energy sources, and we have designed a novel gain head that is compatible with these requirements. The gain medium for the novel design consists of a composite Nd:YAG/Sm:YAG slab, wherein the Sm:YAG portion absorbs any parasitic 1064 nm oscillations that might occur in the main pump axis. A pump cavity is built around the slab, consisting of angled gold-coated reflectors which allow for five pump passes from each of the four pumping locations around the slab. Pumping is performed with off-axis diode bars, allowing for highly compact conductively cooled design. Optical and thermal modeling of this design was done to verify and predict its performance. In order to ultimately achieve 50 W average power at a repetition rate of 500 Hz, three heads of this design will be used in a MOPA configuration with two stages of amplification. To demonstrate the pump head we built it into a 1064 nm laser cavity and performed initial amplification experiments. Modeling and design of the system is presented along with the initial oscillator and amplifier results. The greatest pulse energy produced from the seeded q-switched linear oscillator was an output of 25 mJ at 500 Hz. With an input of 25 mJ and two planned stages of amplification, we expect to readily reach 100 mJ or more per pulse.
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Christina C. C. Willis, Christina C. C. Willis, Greg Witt, Greg Witt, Nigel Martin, Nigel Martin, Michael Albert, Michael Albert, Charles F. Culpepper, Charles F. Culpepper, Ralph L. Burnham, Ralph L. Burnham, } "Novel pump head design for high energy 1064 nm oscillator amplifier system for lidar applications", Proc. SPIE 10082, Solid State Lasers XXVI: Technology and Devices, 100820W (17 February 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2253038; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253038
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