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Feasibility and performance study for a space-borne 1645 nm OPO for French-German satellite mission MERLIN

: Livrozet, M.J.; Elsen, F.; Wüppen, J.; Löhring, J.; Büdenbender, C.; Fix, A.; Jungbluth, B.; Hoffmann, D.

Preprint urn:nbn:de:0011-n-2963728 (316 KByte PDF)
MD5 Fingerprint: 0c94f9904b83d9507ca6da9fb67864ce
Erstellt am: 27.11.2014

Clarkson, W.A. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Solid state lasers XXIII : Technology and devices. 2 - 4 February 2014, San Francisco, California, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2014 (SPIE Proceedings 8959)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9872-4
Paper 89590G
Conference "Solid State Lasers - Technology and Devices" <23, 2014, San Francisco/Calif.>
Konferenzbeitrag, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer ILT ()

We present a theoretical and experimental analysis of a pulsed 1645 nm optical parametric oscillator (OPO) conducted to prove the feasibility of such a device for a spaceborne laser transmitter in an integrated path differential absorption (IPDA) lidar system. The investigation is part of the French-German satellite mission MERLIN (Methane Remote Sensing Lidar Mission). As an effective greenhouse gas, methane plays an important role for the global climate. The architecture of the OPO is based on a conceptual design developed by DLR, consisting of two KTA crystals in a four-mirror-cavity. One of the cavity mirrors is piezo-driven to provide single frequency operation of the OPO. Using numerical simulations, we studied the performance and alignment tolerances of such a setup with KTP and KTA and investigated means to optimize the optical design by increasing the efficiency and decreasing the fluence on the optical components. For the experimental testing of the OPO, we used the INNOSlab-based ESA pre-development model ATLAS as pump laser at 1064 nm. At a pulse frequency of 25 Hz this MOPA delivers a pump energy up to 45 mJ with a beam quality factor of about M-2 = 1.3. With KTP as nonlinear crystal the OPO obtained 9.2 mJ pulse energy at 1645 nm from 31.5 mJ of the pump and a pump pulse duration of 42 ns. This corresponds to an optical/optical efficiency of 29%. After the pump pulse was reduced to 24 ns a similar OPO performance could be obtained by adapting the pump beam radius.