We have demonstrated and characterized a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser under continuous operation for over 7 billion shots. Through periodic monitoring of the laser's vital signs, the system dynamics were decoupled to identify the sources of degradation. The initial and the final pump-laser diode wavelengths and powers were measured and compared. No evidence of an accumulative effect leading to optical damage at a fluence lower than the single-shot threshold was observed.
© 1996 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 24, 1995
Published: March 20, 1996
J. L. Dallas, R. S. Afzal, and M. A. Stephen, "Demonstration and characterization of a multibillion-shot, 2.5-mJ, 4-ns, Q-switched Nd:YAG laser," Appl. Opt. 35, 1427-1429 (1996)