13 February 2001 Novel highly efficient laser transmitter design for a spaceborne ozone differential absorption lidar (DIAL)
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Development of a UV laser transmitter capable of operating from a space platform is a critical step in enabling global earth observations of aerosols and ozone at resolutions greater than current passive instrument capabilities. Tropospheric chemistry is well recognized as the next frontier for global atmospheric measurement. NASA Langley Research Center (LaRC) and the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) have jointly studied the requirements for a satellite based, global ozone monitoring instrument. The study, called Ozone Research using Advanced Cooperative Lidar Experiment (ORACLE) has defined the Differential Absorption Lidar (DIAL) instrument performance, weight and power, and configuration requirements for a space based measurement. In order to achieve the measurement resolution and acceptable signal-to-noise from lidar returns, 500mJ/pulse (5 Watts average power) is required at both 305-308nm and 315-320nm wavelengths. These are consecutive pulses, in a 10 Hz, double-pulsed format. The two wavelengths are used as the on- and off-lines for the ozone DIAL measurement. NASA Langley is currently developing technology for a UV laser transmitter capable of meeting the ORACLE requirements. Experimental efforts to date have shown that the UV generation scheme is viable, and that energies greater than 100mJ/pulse are possible. I n this paper, we will briefly discuss the down select process for the proposed laser design, the study effort to date and the laser system design, including both primary and alternate approaches. We will describe UV laser technology that minimizes the total number of optical components (for enhanced reliability) as well as the number of UV coated optics required to transmit the light from the laser (for enhanced optical damage resistance). While the goal is to develop a laser that will produce 500 mJ of energy, we will describe an optional design that will produce output energies between 100- 200mJ/unit and techniques for combining multiple laser modules in order to transmit a minimum of 500mJ of UV energy in each pulse of the on- and off-line pulse pairs. This modular laser approach provides redundancy and significantly reduces development time, risk and cost when compared to the development of a single, 500mJ double-pulsed laser subsystem. Finally, we will summarize the laser development effort to date, including results that include the highest known UV energy (130 mJ @ 320nm) ever produced by a solid-state laser operating in this wavelength region.
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William C. Edwards, William C. Edwards, Songsheng Chen, Songsheng Chen, Larry B. Petway, Larry B. Petway, Waverly D. Marsh, Waverly D. Marsh, Mark E. Storm, Mark E. Storm, James C. Barnes, James C. Barnes, } "Novel highly efficient laser transmitter design for a spaceborne ozone differential absorption lidar (DIAL)", Proc. SPIE 4153, Lidar Remote Sensing for Industry and Environment Monitoring, (13 February 2001); doi: 10.1117/12.417067; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.417067

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