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22 April 2016 Key optical components for spaceborne lasers
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Spaceborne lidar (light detection and ranging) systems have a large potential to become powerful instruments in the field of atmospheric research. Obviously, they have to be in operation for about three years without any maintenance like readjusting. Furthermore, they have to withstand strong temperature cycles typically in the range of -30 to +50 °C as well as mechanical shocks and vibrations, especially during launch. Additionally, the avoidance of any organic material inside the laser box is required, particularly in UV lasers. For atmospheric research pulses of about several 10 mJ at repetition rates of several 10 Hz are required in many cases. Those parameters are typically addressed by DPSSL that comprise components like: laser crystals, nonlinear crystals in pockels cells, faraday isolators and frequency converters, passive fibers, diode lasers and of course a lot of mirrors and lenses. In particular, some components have strong requirements regarding their tilt stability that is often in the 10 μrad range. In most of the cases components and packages that are used for industrial lasers do not fulfil all those requirements. Thus, the packaging of all these key components has been developed to meet those specifications only making use of metal and ceramics beside the optical component itself. All joints between the optical component and the laser baseplate are soldered or screwed. No clamps or adhesives are used. Most of the critical properties like tilting after temperature cycling have been proven in several tests. Currently, these components are used to build up first prototypes for spaceborne systems.
© (2016) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
J. Löhring, M. Winzen, H. Faidel, J. Miesner, D. Plum, J. Klein, O. Fitzau, M. Giesberts, W. Brandenburg, A. Seidel, N. Schwanen, D. Riesters, S. Hengesbach, and H.-D. Hoffmann "Key optical components for spaceborne lasers", Proc. SPIE 9730, Components and Packaging for Laser Systems II, 97300O (22 April 2016);

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