25 October 2004 Progress toward a 50-watt facility-class sodium guide star pump laser
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Abstract
We report on the development of a 50-W, continuous-wave, sodium wavelength guidestar excitation source for installation on the azimuth gimbal structure of the 3.5-m telescope at the Starfire Optical Range. The laser is an all solid-state design employing two diode-pumped Nd:YAG sources operating at 1064 and 1319 nm that are combined to generate 589-nm radiation using a lithium triborate non-linear crystal. Key features of the system include single-frequency, injection-locked high-power oscillators, a doubly resonant sum frequency generator cavity, a short-term 10 kHz wide 589 nm spectrum, excellent beam quality and power stability, and turn-key operation using computer control and diagnostics. The laser beam is projected from the side of the 3.5-m telescope. A novel elevation beam dither approach is employed to determine range to the centroid of the guidestar formed in the column of mesospheric sodium and maintain focus of the wave front sensor.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Robert Q. Fugate, Craig A. Denman, Paul D. Hillman, Gerald T. Moore, John M. Telle, Imelda A. De La Rue, Jack D. Drummond, and James M. Spinhirne "Progress toward a 50-watt facility-class sodium guide star pump laser", Proc. SPIE 5490, Advancements in Adaptive Optics, (25 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.556871; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.556871
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