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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 21 — Oct. 17, 2007
  • pp: 13476–13495

First demonstration of a high performance difference frequency spectrometer on airborne platforms

Petter Weibring, Dirk Richter, James G. Walega, and Alan Fried  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 21, pp. 13476-13495 (2007)

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We discuss the first airborne deployment and performance tests of a mid-IR difference frequency spectrometer system for highly sensitive measurements of formaldehyde. The laser system is based upon difference-frequency generation (DFG) at ~3.5 μm by mixing a DFB diode laser at 1562 nm and a distributed feedback (DFB) fiber laser at 1083 nm in a periodically poled LiNbO3 (PPLN) crystal. Advanced LabVIEWTM software for lock-in, dual-beam optical noise subtraction, thermal control and active wavelength stabilization, renders a sensitivity of ~20 pptv (Absorbance ~7*10-7) for 30s of averaging. The instrument’s performance characteristics spanning more than 300 flight hours during three consecutive airborne field missions MIRAGE, IMPEX and TexAQS operating on two airborne platforms, NCAR’s C-130 and NOAA’s P-3 aircraft are demonstrated.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(010.1120) Atmospheric and oceanic optics : Air pollution monitoring
(060.2390) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fiber optics, infrared
(300.6260) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, diode lasers

ToC Category:
Atmospheric and oceanic optics

Original Manuscript: July 20, 2007
Revised Manuscript: September 20, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: September 21, 2007
Published: October 1, 2007

Petter Weibring, Dirk Richter, James G. Walega, and Alan Fried, "First demonstration of a high performance difference frequency spectrometer on airborne platforms," Opt. Express 15, 13476-13495 (2007)

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