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Earth Science Technology Office

Design and Fabrication of a Breadboard, Fully Conductively Cooled, 2-Micron, Pulsed Laser for the 3-D Winds Decadal Survey Mission

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Sustained 2-micron solid-state laser research at NASA Langley Research Center during the last fifteen years, primarily funded by NASA’s Earth Science Technology Office, has demonstrated record pulse energy of 1200 mJ,  obtained the required beam quality and pulse spectrum, and demonstrated a compactly packaged 250 mJ, 10 Hz laser with the receiver. In Aug/Sept 2010, LaRC successfully flew the packaged liquid-cooled laser/lidar system on NASA’s DC-8 aircraft. For space application, NASA LaRC researchers developed and demonstrated a fully conductive-cooled 2-micron oscillator/amplifier modules delivering 400 mJ.  LaRC also teamed with Fibertek, Inc. and was awarded an Innovative Partnership Program-2007 project. Under this, LaRC transferred the 2-micron laser design to Fibertek Inc.  Fibertek is currently nearing completion of fabrication of a first generation of 2-micron pulsed conductively-cooled laser. A robustly packaged “space qualifiable” fully conductively-cooled 2-micron laser will be engineered with highly efficient 808 nm diodes, and thoroughly tested it for its capability to make accurate wind measurements from space. The proposed prototype will be completed in 3 years.  More »

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