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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Michael Duncan
  • Vol. 14, Iss. 24 — Nov. 27, 2006
  • pp: 11494–11505

Suppression of Rayleigh scattering noise in sodium laser guide stars by hyperfine depolarization of fluorescence

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

Optics Express, Vol. 14, Issue 24, pp. 11494-11505 (2006)

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We propose what we believe is a novel method for enabling the complete suppression of noise due to Rayleigh scattering in sodium laser guide star systems by means of selective discrimination between Rayleigh and fluorescence signals based on polarization properties. We show that, contrary to the nearly 100% polarized Rayleigh scattering, fluorescence from the D2 sodium line is strongly depolarized under excitation by a modeless laser. This offers the possibility of completely cancelling the effects of the Rayleigh scattering background while preserving the fluorescence signal to about 40% of its maximal value, leading to an improvement of the signal-to-noise ratio by several orders of magnitude. Both theoretical and experimental data confirm this new proposal.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1080) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Active or adaptive optics
(010.1310) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Atmospheric scattering
(010.3640) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Lidar
(010.7350) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Wave-front sensing
(110.4280) Imaging systems : Noise in imaging systems
(110.6770) Imaging systems : Telescopes

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and Oceanic Optics

Original Manuscript: May 24, 2006
Revised Manuscript: July 24, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: September 18, 2006
Published: November 27, 2006

Hugues Guillet de Chatellus, Ioana Moldovan, Vincent Fesquet, and Jean-Paul Pique, "Suppression of Rayleigh scattering noise in sodium laser guide stars by hyperfine depolarization of fluorescence," Opt. Express 14, 11494-11505 (2006)

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