27 February 2009 Qualification of laser diode arrays for space applications
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In the recent past, NASA's space-borne laser missions have been dominated by low repetition rate (<100Hz), Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers pumped by quasi-continuous wave (QCW) 808 nm laser diode arrays (LDA). QCW LDA reliability data is limited and their mechanisms of failure is poorly understood. Our group has been working in gathering statistically significant data on these devices and have developed testing strategies to achieve mission success in a cost-effective manner. In this paper, we present our approach for qualifying the LDAs for the Lunar Orbiter Laser Altimeter (LOLA) instrument scheduled to launch aboard the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission. We describe our strategy to mitigate risk due to LDA failure given cost and schedule constraints. The results from extended testing of multiple LDAs in air and in vacuum are also presented.
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Elisavet Troupaki, Aleksey A. Vasilyev, Mark A. Stephen, Antonios A. Seas, Nasir B. Kashem, "Qualification of laser diode arrays for space applications", Proc. SPIE 7193, Solid State Lasers XVIII: Technology and Devices, 719307 (27 February 2009); doi: 10.1117/12.814950; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.814950


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