18 April 2008 Atmospheric propagation of novel MWIR laser output for emerging free-space applications
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Abstract
The availability of new solid-state laser sources in the mid-wave infrared (MWIR) spectral band prompts questions about the utility of these lasers for free-space applications such as gated imaging and communications. We report here on the development of such MWIR laser sources operating near a wavelength of 4 μm, based on laser media employing holmium doping in crystalline hosts, and on the atmospheric propagation characteristics of laser radiation from these new laser sources. Our analysis indicates that these novel laser sources are near a peak in the transmittance of atmospheric water vapor, and suffer relatively low losses both from aerosol scattering and molecular absorption. They also have certain advantages in the areas of laser eye safety and susceptibility to scintillation due to atmospheric turbulence. We illustrate the potential of these new laser sources with field test results of a gated imaging system using such sources for pulsed illumination.
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Anna M Tabirian, Anna M Tabirian, Douglas P. Stanley, Douglas P. Stanley, David E. Roberts, David E. Roberts, Arthur B. Thompson, Arthur B. Thompson, } "Atmospheric propagation of novel MWIR laser output for emerging free-space applications", Proc. SPIE 6951, Atmospheric Propagation V, 69510T (18 April 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.783880; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.783880
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