1 June 1992 Laser beam steering via wave mixing in volumetric thermal gratings
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A volumetric thermal grating (VTG) is a spatially periodic refractive index variation in a volume of gas or liquid, generated by imaging interference fringes into the medium. The fringes can be created and varied by steering laser write beams electronically with acousto- optic (A-O) cells. While the wavelength of the write beams is chosen to be absorbed by a dopant in the VTG medium, a read beam at an off-resonance wavelength can be manipulated by diffraction from the resulting index grating. Potential applications include resonator and amplifier optical isolation prepulse suppression in high-gain amplifiers, noninertial steering of large-diameter laser beams, transfer of phase information between beams to facilitate adaptive optics, Q-switching of chemical lasers, and line selection in broadband lasers. In this paper, we present a preliminary assessment of VTG utility for these optical systems applications by quantitative analysis of the medium density dynamics. In Section 2, we derive a relation between A-O acoustic frequency uncertainty and VTG pointing/steering uncertainty, which also scales desired steering range to required A-O frequency modulation bandwidth. In Section 3, we discuss the temporal response of a doped rare-gas VTG medium. Section 4 is an assessment of VTG beam-steering performance potential using available technology.
© (1992) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
David W. Tyler, "Laser beam steering via wave mixing in volumetric thermal gratings", Proc. SPIE 1625, Design, Modeling, and Control of Laser Beam Optics, (1 June 1992); doi: 10.1117/12.58931; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.58931


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