27 February 2015 Liquid crystal clad waveguide laser scanner and waveguide amplifier for LADAR and sensing applications
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We will describe the construction and performance of a prototype high speed, non-mechanically scanned, laser system that is coupled to a custom planar waveguide optical amplifier. The system provides high speed (10 kHz) scanning of <200 far-field resolvable spots, with a path toward <500 spots at 10 kHz demonstrated. An enabling component for this system is the new EO scanner that provides previously unrealizable performance such as sub-millisecond scanning, full 2-D operation with only three control electrodes, fully refractive (no side-lobes) scanning, no blind spot within the field of view (FOV), and a large continuous scan angle. Scanners with near perfect Gaussian output beams, throughputs greater than 50%, and a 500 × 15o continuous field-of-view will be discussed. Furthermore, a path toward much larger FOVs will also be presented. We will also present the design and construction of custom planar waveguide amplifiers to which our EO scanner can be free space end-fire coupled. The amplifiers and scanners were designed for operation at 1.645 microns. This will enable long-range, eye-safe LADAR and sensing applications, such as CH4 sensors.
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Scott R. Davis, Scott R. Davis, Scott D. Rommel, Scott D. Rommel, Seth Johnson, Seth Johnson, Michael H. Anderson, Michael H. Anderson, Anthony W. Yu, Anthony W. Yu, "Liquid crystal clad waveguide laser scanner and waveguide amplifier for LADAR and sensing applications", Proc. SPIE 9365, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XIX, 93650N (27 February 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2077061; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2077061

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