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Applied Optics

Applied Optics

APPLICATIONS-CENTERED RESEARCH IN OPTICS

  • Vol. 39, Iss. 15 — May. 20, 2000
  • pp: 2428–2432

Monoblock laser for a low-cost, eyesafe, microlaser range finder

John E. Nettleton, Bradley W. Schilling, Dallas N. Barr, and Jonathan S. Lei  »View Author Affiliations


Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 15, pp. 2428-2432 (2000)
http://dx.doi.org/10.1364/AO.39.002428


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Abstract

A small, lightweight, low-cost prototype laser has been developed for use in a microlaser range finder (µLRF). The laser design is based on a flash-lamp-pumped, Nd:YAG laser with a Cr4+ passive Q switch. The design incorporates a monolithic potassium titanyl arsenide (KTA) optical parametric oscillator (OPO) in an intracavity configuration, producing output at 1.54 µm. Precisely cut, properly coated crystals make up the laser resonator, reducing the number of components and enabling laser oscillation with the simplest of alignment fixtures. The 1.54-µm laser cavity consists of only four rectangular-shaped crystals: a Nd:YAG laser rod, a Nd:YAG endcap, a Cr4+Q switch, and a KTA OPO. Along with a ceramic laser pallet and a flash lamp, these six components make up a prototype monoblock (essentially a one-piece) laser transmitter. Several of these simple prototypes have been built and tested, giving a nominal output of >3.0 mJ at 1.54 µm with a 27-ns pulse width. The transmitter was incorporated into a breadboard laser range finder, and successful ranging operations were performed to targets at ranges in excess of 3 km.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.0140) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers and laser optics
(140.3530) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, neodymium
(140.3540) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, Q-switched
(140.3580) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, solid-state
(280.3400) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser range finder

History
Original Manuscript: September 7, 1999
Revised Manuscript: January 21, 2000
Published: May 20, 2000

Citation
John E. Nettleton, Bradley W. Schilling, Dallas N. Barr, and Jonathan S. Lei, "Monoblock laser for a low-cost, eyesafe, microlaser range finder," Appl. Opt. 39, 2428-2432 (2000)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/ao/abstract.cfm?URI=ao-39-15-2428

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