12 December 2006 Resonator design and performance estimation for a space-based laser transmitter
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Abstract
Development of a laser transmitter for space applications is a highly challenging task. The laser must be rugged, reliable, lightweight, compact and energy efficient. Most of these features are inherently achieved by diode pumping of solid state lasers. Overall system reliability can further be improved by appropriate optical design of the laser resonator besides selection of suitable electro-optical and opto-mechanical components. This paper presents the design details and the theoretically estimated performance of a crossed-porro prism based, folded Z-shaped laser resonator. A symmetrically pumped Nd: YAG laser rod of 3 mm diameter and 60 mm length is placed in the gain arm with total input peak power of 1800 W from laser diode arrays. Electro-optical Q-switching is achieved through a combination of a polarizer, a fractional waveplate and LiNbO3 Q-switch crystal (9 x 9 x 25 mm) placed in the feedback arm. Polarization coupled output is obtained by optimizing azimuth angle of quarter wave plate placed in the gain arm. Theoretical estimation of laser output energy and pulse width has been carried out by varying input power levels and resonator length to analyse the performance tolerances. The designed system is capable of meeting the objective of generating laser pulses of 10 ns duration and 30 mJ energy @ 10 Hz.
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Lalita Agrawal, Lalita Agrawal, Atul Bhardwaj, Atul Bhardwaj, Suranjan Pal, Suranjan Pal, J. A. Kamalakar, J. A. Kamalakar, } "Resonator design and performance estimation for a space-based laser transmitter", Proc. SPIE 6409, Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring VII, 64091E (12 December 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.694132; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.694132
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