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21 July 2014 Series production of next-generation guide-star lasers at TOPTICA and MPBC
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Large telescopes equipped with adaptive optics require high power 589-nm continuous-wave sources with emission linewidths of ~5 MHz. These guide-star lasers should be highly reliable and simple to operate and maintain for many years at the top of a mountain facility. After delivery of the first 20-W systems to our lead customer ESO, TOPTICA and MPBC have begun series production of next-generation sodium guide-star lasers. The chosen approach is based on ESO’s patented narrow-band Raman fiber amplifier (RFA) technology [1]. A master oscillator signal from a TOPTICA 50-mW, 1178-nm diode laser, with stabilized emission frequency and linewidth of ~ 1 MHz, is amplified in an MPBC polarization-maintaining (PM) RFA pumped by a high-power 1120-nm PM fiber laser. With efficient stimulated Brillouin scattering suppression, an unprecedented 40 W of narrow-band RFA output has been obtained. This is spatially mode-matched into a patented resonant-cavity frequency doubler providing also the repumper light [2]. With a diffraction-limited output beam and doubling efficiencies < 80%, all ESO design goals have been easily fulfilled. Together with a wall-plug efficiency of < 3%, including all system controls, and a cooling liquid flow of only 5 l/min, the modular, turn-key, maintenance-free and compact system design allows a direct integration with a launch telescope. With these fiber-based guide star lasers, TOPTICA for the first time offers a fully engineered, off-the-shelf guide star laser system for ground-based optical telescopes. Here we present a comparison of test results of the first batch of laser systems, demonstrating the reproducibility of excellent optical characteristics.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Martin Enderlein, Axel Friedenauer, Robin Schwerdt, Paul Rehme, Daoping Wei, Vladimir Karpov, Bernhard Ernstberger, Patrick Leisching, Wallace R. L. Clements, and Wilhelm G. Kaenders "Series production of next-generation guide-star lasers at TOPTICA and MPBC", Proc. SPIE 9148, Adaptive Optics Systems IV, 914807 (21 July 2014);


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