18 April 2006 Risk mitigation in spaceborne lasers
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Abstract
Spaceborne lidars carry much promise for Earth observation and interplanetary missions to measure atmospheric parameters (wind velocity, optical extinction or species concentrations) and planet topologies. As the first European lidar mission, the European Space Agency is developing a Doppler wind lidar, ALADIN, to be launched on board ADM-Aeolus in 2008. ALADIN is a pulsed laser, emitting about 120 mJ of pulse energy in the UV. The mission duration is envisaged to be three years, which corresponds to several billion emitted pulses, thus imposing very stringent criteria on the longevity of the system. Laser-induced damage is one of the most significant issues here, in particular since laser-induced damage in space vacuum is still poorly understood. The European Space Agency has therefore established a test campaign to measure the power handling of all the instrument optics with laboratories in Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and France participating. Measurements are conducted at three wavelengths (1064nm, 532nm and 355nm) and with the introduction of several contaminants. The presentation covers laser-induced damage risk mitigation, the ESA test campaign and some test results.
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Yngve Lien, Elmar Reinhold, Denny Wernham, Martin Endemann, Michael Jost, Errico Armandillo, Wolfgang Riede, Helmut Schröder, Paul Allenspacher, "Risk mitigation in spaceborne lasers", Proc. SPIE 6182, Photonic Crystal Materials and Devices III (i.e. V), 618202 (18 April 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.683061; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.683061
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