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28 July 2010 The characteristics of laser-transmission and guide star's brightness for Subaru LGS/AO188 system
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We are commissioning the Laser Guide Star Adaptive Optics (LGS/AO188) system for Subaru Telescope at Hawaii, Mauna Kea. This system utilizes a combination of an all-solid-state mode-locked sum-frequency generation (SFG) laser (1.7GHz-bandwidth, 0.7ns-pulse width) as a light source and single-mode optical fiber for beam transference. However, optical fibers induce nonlinear scattering effects, such as stimulated Raman scattering (SRS) and stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS), beyond certain threshold levels in high-power lasers. We measured the laser transmission characteristics of a photonic crystal fiber (PCF) whose mode field diameter (MFD) was 11 μ m, and a step index fiber (SIF) cable whose MFD was 4.2 μ m to evaluate the threshold levels for non-linear effects. We observed SRS in the 200-m-long SIF when we input 1.3W. The material losses of them were 10db/km and 6.4dB/km, respectively. However, SRS and SBS were not induced in the 200-m-long PCF, even for an input power of 5.3W. As a result, we estimated the threshold of SRS to be 33W for the 35-m-long PCF designed for the Subaru LGSAO system. Other than SRS and SBS, we found self phase modulation (SPM) in our PCF. SPM makes the spectrum of the laser beam broaden and it causes less efficiency of generating bright LGS. We measured width of the spectrum by spectrum analyzer. As the result, we found it was 9.1GHz of full width half maximum (FWHM) in comparison with the original FWHM of our laser spectrum, 2.1GHz. This shows 70% of the laser energy for brightening the LGS was lost. We also measured the brightness of the LGS and evaluated its relationship with wavelength of the laser. The LGS's brightness showed a peculiar tendency that did not be extinguish even though the wavelength has varied about 2pm. The tendency was not shown with the experiment using sodium gas cell. Therefore, it may be concerned the environment of the sodium layer in the mesosphere.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
M. Ito, Y. Hayano, Y. Saito, H. Takami, M. Iye, M. Hattori, S. Oya, M. Watanabe, K. Akagawa, S. A. Colley, T. I. Golota, and O. Guyon "The characteristics of laser-transmission and guide star's brightness for Subaru LGS/AO188 system", Proc. SPIE 7736, Adaptive Optics Systems II, 773651 (28 July 2010);

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