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Journal of the Optical Society of America A

Journal of the Optical Society of America A


  • Vol. 17, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 2000
  • pp: 2236–2242

Photometric observations of a polychromatic laser guide star

Renaud Foy, Michel Tallon, Isabelle Tallon-Bosc, Eric Thiébaut, Jérôme Vaillant, Françoise-Claude Foy, Daniel Robert, Herb Friedman, François Biraben, Gilbert Grynberg, Jean-Pierre Gex, Alain Mens, Arnold Migus, Jean-Marc Weulersse, and David J. Butler  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA A, Vol. 17, Issue 12, pp. 2236-2242 (2000)

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We report the photometric observation of a polychromatic laser guide star (PLGS) using the AVLIS laser at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). The process aims at providing a measurement of the tilt of the incoming wave front at a telescope induced by atmospheric turbulence. It relies on the two-photon coherent excitation of the 4D5/2 energy level of sodium atoms in the mesosphere. We used two laser beams at 589 and 569 nm, with a maximum total average output power of ≈350 W. For the purpose of photometric calibration, a natural star was observed simultaneously through the same instrument as the PLGS at the focus of the LLNL 50-cm telescope. Photometric measurements of the 330-nm return flux confirm our previous theoretical studies that the PLGS process should allow us at a later stage to correct for the tilt at wavelengths as short as ≈1 µm at good astronomical sites. They show also that, at saturation of two-photon coherent absorption in the mesosphere, the backscattered flux increases by a factor of ≈2 when the pulse repetition rate decreases by a factor of 3 at constant average power. This unexpected behavior is briefly discussed.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.1330) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric turbulence
(010.3310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Laser beam transmission
(020.4180) Atomic and molecular physics : Multiphoton processes
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(140.1340) Lasers and laser optics : Atomic gas lasers

Original Manuscript: September 2, 1999
Revised Manuscript: April 17, 2000
Manuscript Accepted: May 26, 2000
Published: December 1, 2000

Renaud Foy, Michel Tallon, Isabelle Tallon-Bosc, Eric Thiébaut, Jérôme Vaillant, Françoise-Claude Foy, Daniel Robert, Herb Friedman, François Biraben, Gilbert Grynberg, Jean-Pierre Gex, Alain Mens, Arnold Migus, Jean-Marc Weulersse, and David J. Butler, "Photometric observations of a polychromatic laser guide star," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 17, 2236-2242 (2000)

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