13 May 2016 Three-year aging of prototype flight laser at 10 kHz and 1 ns pulses with external frequency doubler for ICESat-2 mission
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Abstract
We present the results of a three-year operational-aging test of a specially designed prototype flight laser operating at 1064 nm, 10 kHz, 1ns, 15W average power and externally frequency-doubled. Fibertek designed and built the q-switched, 1064nm laser and this laser was in a sealed container of dry air pressurized to 1.3 atm. The external frequency doubler was in a clean room at a normal air pressure. The goal of the experiment was to measure degradation modes at 1064 and 532 nm separately. The external frequency doubler consisted of a Lithium triborate, LiB3O5, non-critically phase-matched crystal. After some 1064 nm light was diverted for diagnostics, 13.7W of fundamental power was available to pump the doubling crystal. Between 8.5W and 10W of 532nm power was generated, depending on the level of stress and degradation. The test consisted of two stages, the first at 0.3 J/cm2 for almost 1 year, corresponding to expected operational conditions, and the second at 0.93 J/cm2 for the remainder of the experiment, corresponding to accelerated optical stress testing. We observed no degradation at the first stress-level and linear degradation at the second stress-level. The linear degradation was linked to doubler crystal output surface changes from laser-assisted contamination. We estimate the expected lifetime for the flight laser at 532 nm using fluence as the stress parameter. This work was done for NASA’s Ice, Cloud, and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) LIDAR at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD with the goal of 1 trillion shots lifetime.
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Oleg A. Konoplev, Furqan L. Chiragh, Aleksey A. Vasilyev, Ryan Edwards, Mark A. Stephen, Elisavet Troupaki, Anthony W. Yu, Michael A. Krainak, Nick Sawruk, Floyd Hovis, Charles F. Culpepper, Kathy Strickler, "Three-year aging of prototype flight laser at 10 kHz and 1 ns pulses with external frequency doubler for ICESat-2 mission", Proc. SPIE 9834, Laser Technology for Defense and Security XII, 98340A (13 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2225985; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2225985
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