NASA?s primary application for the proposed transmitter would be for widespread deployment of ground-based and airborne sensors to map ozone concentrations with high spatial and temporal resolution. This will allow NASA to carry out its Earth Science missions with smaller and/or more affordable DIAL transmitters enabling NASA programs to meet multiple mission needs and make the best use of limited resources. Our system will be highly useful for both integrated column and range-resolved measurements due to its short pulse durations and scalable high energies. Additionally, our base pump laser can be frequency down-converted into the SWIR spectral band rather than frequency up converted to the ultra-violet band. This will enable compact single-mode, high-energy pulses for profiling other important greenhouse gases and pollutants such as CH4, CO2, H2O, CO, NO2, and many others. Finally, the base pump laser when frequency doubled into the visible region will enable compact single-mode, high-energy pulses for profiling of cloud and aerosol backscatter, ice mass and phytoplankton measurements, and direct-detection Doppler LIDAR wind measurements.
The pump laser for the proposed design would be the most compact and high energy kilohertz-rate Nd:YAG laser on the market. Bridger envisions a wide variety of applications for this laser including gas sensing lidar, hard-target ranging, ablation applications including mass spectrometry, nonlinear spectroscopy and as general purpose OPO pump. To date Bridger?s MIR Series has been sold primarily to laser ablation mass spectrometry customers, but Bridger has experienced interest from customers for hard-target ranging and nonlinear spectroscopy applications. Within the lidar market both NOAA and the EPA would be potential customers for the complete UV transmitter to advance their ozone monitoring initiatives. Other commercial markets include detection of illicit methamphetamine labs, on-site pollution detection, verification of carbon sequestration sites, methane pipeline monitoring, and chemical weapons detection. The proposed transmitter could easily be adapted to detect a host of other gasses, most of which are detected in the short wave infrared and mid-infrared spectral regions and are well suited to a seeded version of Bridger?s existing OPO.