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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Editor: Stephen A. Burns
  • Vol. 25, Iss. 2 — Feb. 1, 2008
  • pp: 400–415

Return flux budget of polychromatic laser guide stars

Hugues Guillet de Chatellus, Jean-Paul Pique, and Ioana Cristina Moldovan  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 25, Issue 2, pp. 400-415 (2008)

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The polychromatic laser guide star (PLGS) is one of the solutions proposed to extend the sky coverage by large telescopes to 100% by enabling a complete knowledge of all perturbation orders of the wavefront. The knowledge of the tip–tilt is deduced from the monitoring of the chromatic components of the PLGS, from 330 nm to the visible or near infrared. Here we study the original scheme to create the PLGS by resonant excitation of the mesospheric sodium by two pulsed lasers (tens of kilohertz repetition rate, tens of watts average power, tens of nanoseconds pulse duration), at 589 and 569 nm , respectively. The efficiency of this process is investigated numerically by means of both Bloch equation and rate equation models. The influence of numerous laser parameters is studied. In the best case, having optimized all laser parameters, the return flux at 330 nm should not exceed 7 × 10 4 photons s m 2 for 2 × 18 W laser average power at the mesosphere. This maximum is obtained for a modeless laser whose spot diameter corresponds to 4 times the diffraction limit. For a diffraction-limited spot, the return flux falls down to 4 × 10 4 photons s m 2 .

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(020.4180) Atomic and molecular physics : Multiphoton processes
(030.4070) Coherence and statistical optics : Modes
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(140.2050) Lasers and laser optics : Dye lasers
(190.4180) Nonlinear optics : Multiphoton processes
(260.2510) Physical optics : Fluorescence
(300.2530) Spectroscopy : Fluorescence, laser-induced

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: July 27, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: November 9, 2007
Published: January 25, 2008

Hugues Guillet de Chatellus, Jean-Paul Pique, and Ioana Cristina Moldovan, "Return flux budget of polychromatic laser guide stars," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 25, 400-415 (2008)

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