21 November 1997 Improvement in suppression of pulsed Nd:YAG laser light with iodine absorption cells for filtered Rayleigh scattering measurements
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Abstract
Filtered Rayleigh scattering using iodine absorption cells is an effective technique for obtaining density, temperature, and velocity measurements in high speed confined flows. By tuning a single frequency laser to a strong iodine absorption line, stray scattered laser light can be greatly suppressed. For example, the minimum transmission predicted by an iodine absorption model calculation is less than 10-5 at the 18788.44 cm-1 line using a 200 mm absorption cell containing iodine vapor at 0.46 T. Measurements obtained by other researches using a CW Nd:YAG laser agree with the model calculations. However, measurements made by us and by others using Q-switched, injection-seeded, frequency doubled Nd:YAG lasers only show minimum transmission of about 3 X 10-3. This greatly reduces the applicability of the filtered Rayleigh scattering technique using these lasers in experiments having large amounts of stray scattered laser light. The purposes of the present study are to characterize the spectrum of the excess light transmitted by the iodine cells and to make changes to the laser to reduce the transmitted laser light. Transmission data as a function of laser frequency for the iodine absorption line at 18788.44 cm-1 are presented. A planar mirror Fabry-Perot interferometer was used to characterize the frequency spectrum of the light passed through the iodine cell to have a component with a bandwidth of about 40 GHz. This is probably caused by other modes in the laser that exist in spite of the single frequency injection beam A second broadband component was also observed, possibly caused by the laser flash lamps or by fluorescence. An intracavity etalon was installed in the laser oscillator cavity to suppress the 40 GHz component. Measurements taken with the etalon tuned to the injection frequency showed a reduction in the transmitted laser light. This improvement allows the iodine cell to block significantly more of the stray laser light in filtered Rayleigh scattering experiments. Examples are given of filtered Rayleigh scattering measurements showing the effect of the etalon on measurements taken in a Mach 3 flow in the NASA Lewis 4 inch by 10 inch supersonic wind tunnel.
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Richard G. Seasholtz, Richard G. Seasholtz, Alvin E. Buggele, Alvin E. Buggele, } "Improvement in suppression of pulsed Nd:YAG laser light with iodine absorption cells for filtered Rayleigh scattering measurements", Proc. SPIE 3172, Optical Technology in Fluid, Thermal, and Combustion Flow III, (21 November 1997); doi: 10.1117/12.293414; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.293414
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