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1 September 2015 Multi-wavelength high efficiency laser system for lidar applications
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Abstract
Motivated by the growing need for more efficient, high output power laser transmitters, we demonstrate a multi-wavelength laser system for lidar-based applications. The demonstration is performed in two stages, proving energy scaling and nonlinear conversion independently for later combination. Energy scaling is demonstrated using a 1064 nm MOPA system which employs two novel ceramic Nd:YAG slab amplifiers, the structure of which is designed to improve the amplifier’s thermal performance and energy extraction via three progressive doping stages. This structure improved the extraction efficiency by 19% over previous single-stage dopant designs. A maximum energy of 34 mJ was produced at 500 Hz with a 10.8 ns pulse duration. High efficiency non-linear conversion from 1064 nm to 452 nm is demonstrated using a KTP ring OPO with a BBO intra-cavity doubler pumped with 50 Hz, 16 ns 1064 nm pulses. The OPO generates 1571 nm signal which is frequency doubled to 756 nm by the BBO. Output 786 nm pulses are mixed with the 1064 nm pump pulses to generate 452 nm. A conversion efficiency of 17.1% was achieved, generating 3 mJ of 452 nm pulses of 7.8 ns duration. Pump power was limited by intra-cavity damage thresholds, and in future experiments we anticipate >20% conversion efficiency.
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Christina C. C. Willis, Charles Culpepper, and Ralph Burnham "Multi-wavelength high efficiency laser system for lidar applications", Proc. SPIE 9612, Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring XV, 96120I (1 September 2015); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2191727
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