This paper describes an innovative, compact and eyesafe coherent lidar system developed for use in wind and wake vortex sensing applications. This advanced lidar system is field ruggedized with reduced size, weight, and power consumption (SWaP) configured based on an all-fiber and modular architecture. The all-fiber architecture is developed using a fiber seed laser that is coupled to uniquely configured fiber amplifier modules and associated photonic elements including an integrated 3D scanner. The scanner provides user programmable continuous 360 degree azimuth and 180 degree elevation scan angles. The system architecture eliminates free-space beam alignment issues and allows plug and play operation using graphical user interface software modules. Besides its all fiber architecture, the lidar system also provides pulsewidth agility to aid in improving range resolution. Operating at 1.54 microns and with a PRF of up to 20 KHz, the wind lidar is air cooled with overall dimensions of 30” x 46” x 60” and is designed as a Class 1 system. This lidar is capable of measuring wind velocities greater than 120 +/- 0.2 m/s over ranges greater than 10 km and with a range resolution of less than 15 m. This compact and modular system is anticipated to provide mobility, reliability, and ease of field deployment for wind and wake vortex measurements. The current lidar architecture is amenable for trace gas sensing and as such it is being evolved for airborne and space based platforms. In this paper, the key features of wind lidar instrumentation and its functionality are discussed followed by results of recent wind forecast measurements on a wind farm.
This paper discusses an innovative, compact and eyesafe coherent lidar system developed for wind and wake vortex sensing applications. With an innovative all-fiber and modular transceiver architecture, the wind lidar system has reduced size, weight and power requirements, and provides enhanced performance along with operational elegance. This all-fiber architecture is developed around fiber seed laser coupled to uniquely configured fiber amplifier modules. The innovative features of this lidar system, besides its all fiber architecture, include pulsewidth agility and user programmable 3D hemispherical scanner unit. Operating at a wavelength of 1.5457 microns and with a PRF of up to 20 KHz, the lidar transmitter system is designed as a Class 1 system with dimensions of 30”(W) x 46”(L) x 60”(H). With an operational range exceeding 10 km, the wind lidar is configured to measure wind velocities of greater than 120 m/s with an accuracy of +/- 0.2 m/s and allow range resolution of less than 15 m. The dynamical configuration capability of transmitted pulsewidths from 50 ns to 400 ns allows high resolution wake vortex measurements. The scanner uses innovative liquid metal slip ring and is built using 3D printer technology with light weight nylon. As such, it provides continuous 360 degree azimuth and 180 degree elevation scan angles with an incremental motion of 0.001 degree. The lidar system is air cooled and requires 110 V for its operation. This compact and modular lidar system is anticipated to provide mobility, reliability, and ease of field deployment for wind and wake vortex measurements. Currently, this wind lidar is undergoing validation tests under various atmospheric conditions. Preliminary results of these field measurements of wind characteristics that were recently carried out in Colorado are discussed.
Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies (LMCT) reports on the development of a compact, scalable versatile optical waveform sodium guidestar laser system (GLS) suitable for Adaptive Optics (AO) systems on Extremely Large Telescopes (ELT's) and smaller telescopes. We have successfully completed phase 1 of the three-phase, 4½ year, NSF funded, National Optical Astronomy Observatory (NOAO) sponsored program. The GLS can be optimized for efficient sodium layer interaction for each telescope / AO system with mitigation of parasitic effects such as Rayleigh or cirrus cloud scatter of adjacent beacon light in multi-conjugate adaptive optics (MCAO) and spot elongation in the sodium layer from off-axis light launch in an ELT. The proposed solid-state laser architecture incorporates patent-pending self-imaging waveguide technology and is based on a set of requirements that was determined after extensive discussions with the astronomy adaptive optics community. This paper presents data on single beacon, Rayleigh compensating, and elongation compensating waveforms that were demonstrated through all stages of the architecture, as well as demonstrated and anticipated 589 nm power levels for each waveform. The design of the master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) architecture, modulation methodology, power amplification, and sum-frequency generation stages is also described. System attributes, including size, weight, and power will also be discussed.
Lockheed Martin Coherent Technologies (LMCT) is developing 20 W and 50 W commercial solid-state sodium beacon Guidestar Laser Systems (GLS) for the Keck I and Gemini South telescopes, respectively. This work represents a critical step toward addressing the need of the astronomical adaptive optics (AO) community for a standardized, robust, turn-key, commercial GLS that can be configured for different observatory facilities and for different AO formats - including multi-conjugate AO (MCAO) and future extremely large telescopes. These modular systems build on the proven laser technologies, user-friendly interface, and low maintenance design that were developed for the successful 12 W GLS delivered by LMCT to the Gemini North telescope in February 2005. This paper describes the GLS requirements for the Keck I and Gemini South telescopes, the design of the laser oscillators, amplifiers, sum-frequency generator, and diagnostics; the functionality of the automated remote laser control system; size, weight, power, and performance data; and the current status of the programs.
We report on the first successful installation of a commercial solid-state sodium guidestar laser system (GLS). The GLS developed at LMCT was delivered to Gemini North Observatory in February of 2005. The laser is a single beacon system that implements a novel laser architecture and represents a critical step towards addressing the need of the astronomy and military adaptive optics (AO) communities for a robust turn-key commercial GLS. The laser was installed on the center section of the 8 m Gemini North telescope, with the output beam relayed to a laser launch telescope located behind the 1 m diameter secondary mirror. The laser went through a three week performance evaluation between November and December 2005 wherein it consistently generated 12 W average power with measured M<sup>2</sup> < 1.1 while locked to the D2 line at +/- 100 MHz. The system was required to perform during a 12-hour test period during three runs of 4-6 consecutive nights each. The laser architecture is based on continuous wave (CW) mode-locked solid-state lasers. The mode-locked format enables more efficient SFG conversion, and dispenses with complex resonant intensity enhancement systems and injection-locking electronics. The linearly-polarized, near-diffraction-limited, modelocked 1319 nm and 1064 nm pulses are generated in separate dual-head diode-pumped resonators. The two IR pulses are input into a single-stage, 30 mm PPSLT sum-frequency generation (SFG) crystal provided by Physical Science, Inc. Visible (589 nm) power of >16 W have been generated, representing a conversion efficiency of 40%.
Coherent Technologies, Inc. (CTI) is developing the first commercial solid-state sodium beacon laser guidestar (LGS): a critical step towards addressing the need of the astronomy adaptive optics (AO) community for a robust turn-key commercial LGS that can be upgraded for different observatory facilities and for different AO formats - including multi-conjugate AO (MCAO) and future extra-large telescopes. The LGS that is currently being developed will be a 14 W single beacon system to be installed on the center section of the Gemini North telescope in Fall 2004. This paper describes the Gemini North LGS requirements, the design of the laser with design trades against other LGS architectures; the functionality of the automated remote laser control system; latest size, weight, power, and performance data; and the current status of the program.