12 October 2010 A compact high power Er:Yb:glass eyesafe laser for infrared remote sensing applications
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Abstract
The key features and performances of a compact, lightweight, high power Er3+:Yb3+ glass laser transmitter are reported on. The theory employed to get an optimal design of the device is also described. In free running regime high energies of about 15mJ in 3ms long pulses were obtained, with an optical efficiency close to 85%. When q-switched by a Co: MALO crystal of carefully selected initial transmittivity, a high peak power in excess of 500 kW was obtained in about 9ns pulse duration, with an optical efficiency of 60%. The laser was successfully run with no significant power losses at repetition rates up to 5Hz due to a carefully designed heat sink which allowed an efficient conduction cooling of both the diode bars and the phosphate glass. The transmitter emits at a wavelength of 1535nm in the so-called "eyesafe" region of the light spectrum thus being highly attractive for any application involving the risk of human injury as is typically the case in remote sensing activities. Moreover, the spectral band around 1,5mm corresponds to a peak in the athmospheric transmittance thus being more effective in adverse weather conditions with respect to other wavelengths. Actually, the device has been successfully integrated into a rangefinder system allowing a reliable and precise detection of small targets at distances up to 20Km. Moreover, the transmitter capabilities were used into a state of the art infrared laser illuminator for night vision allowing even the recognition of a human being at distances in excess of 5Km.
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Marco Vitiello, Marco Vitiello, Andrea Pizzarulli, Andrea Pizzarulli, Andrea Ruffini, Andrea Ruffini, } "A compact high power Er:Yb:glass eyesafe laser for infrared remote sensing applications", Proc. SPIE 7836, Technologies for Optical Countermeasures VII, 78360C (12 October 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.864673; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.864673
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