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Rugged diode-pumped Alexandrite laser as an emitter in a compact mobile lidar system for atmospheric measurements

: Munk, Alexander; Strotkamp, Michael; Jungbluth, Bernd; Froh, Jan; Mense, Thorben; Mauer, Alsu; Höffner, Josef

Fulltext ()

Applied optics 60 (2021), No.16, pp.4668-4679
ISSN: 0003-6935
ISSN: 1539-4522
ISSN: 1559-128X
ISSN: 2155-3165
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer ILT ()

We present design and performance data of two diode-pumped Alexandrite lasers developed explicitly as laser emitters in mobile potassium resonance lidar systems. The lasers yield an output power of up to 1.75 mJ at a repetition rate of 500 Hz with a beam quality of M² < 1.1 in both spatial directions. Reliable single longitudinal mode (SLM) operation with a unrivalled narrow linewidth of 3.3 MHz at a potassium resonance line at 769.898 nm is achieved. The wavelength can be switched from pulse to pulse in a range of several GHz so the potassium line can be scanned. The lasers are finally integrated in highly efficient lidar systems with a power consumption of 500 W for the whole lidar system. The extremely high spectral requirements are investigated and the performance for different working points regarding repetition rates and pump durations is investigated. Several weeks of remotely controlled operation of the prototype in a field campaign were conducted without changes of the output parameters. Approximately 1,000 hours of reliable single longitudinal mode operation was achieved during the campaign and measurements of Doppler-Mie wind observations in the stratosphere and of the potassium layer in the mesopause were conducted simultaneously even at daytime.