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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Efficient 3-D Ladar Source, Phase II

Completed Technology Project

Project Introduction

Efficient 3-D Ladar Source, Phase II
In the Phase I program we demonstrated the efficacy of the proposed innovation by experimentally demonstrating an improvement in slope efficiency of ~11% by changing the pump wavelength from 806-nm to the 863-nm, which directly pumps the upper laser level of the 1047-nm laser transition in Nd:YLF. This level of improvement in efficiency is significant for space-based systems where overall efficiency is of great value. In addition to the optical-to-optical efficiency improvement, there is a lower heat load in the gain medium reducing the cooling requirements. In this work we take advantage of our broad experience with Nd:YLF and the unique advantages of the MPS(TM) design to develop an all-solid-state, compact, conductively-cooled laser system operating in 1-μm region with an output energy of nominally 30 mJ and a pulse repetition frequency (PRF) of 30 Hz. The specific goal of this project will be to produce a laser design that is suitable for use in 3-D flash ladar systems housed in spacecraft and used for automated landing and hazard avoidance in difficult terrain and to deliver to NASA LaRC a working prototype of this laser design that is suitable for use in terrestrial testing of flash ladar systems when it is integrated with a suitable ladar receiver. More »

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This is a historic project that was completed before the creation of TechPort on October 1, 2012. Available data has been included. This record may contain less data than currently active projects.