Low-cost, high brightness, wavelength-selectable laser transmitter
Department of Defense
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Small Business Information
11805 North Creek Parkway S., Bellevue, WA, 98005
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
Mark S. Bowers
AbstractFor future long-range theater ballistic missile defense, aircraft-mounted LADAR systems require eyesafe laser transmitters that produce higher pulse energy and better beam quality than currently available optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) pumped by diode-pumped Nd:YAG lasers. Aculight proposes a novel laser transmitter approach that can simultaneously generate the required pulse energy, beam quality, and short pulse needed for ranging and discrimination. The proposed approach is to combine a diode-pumped Yb:S-FAP (Ytterbium Strontium Fluoroapatite) laser with an innovative, short-pulse-length scaled, unstable resonator OPO. This configuration reduces the weight/size of the laser transmitter by a factor of 10x over a standard Nd:YAG laser-driven OPO. Phase I will show the feasibility of obtaining high efficiency and good beam quality in a short pulse from a high-pulse-energy unstable resonator OPO. Unstable resonator OPOs pumped by short pump pulses will be experimentally characterized to provide data to correlate and validate Aculight's unique unstable resonator OPO computer model. The correlated model will then be used to generate a preliminary design of an optimized parametric converter suitable for long-range LADAR systems.
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