In this paper we address the qualification of optical components used in space based laser systems with special emphasis on nonlinear optical crystals, performed at the DLR optics qualification laboratory. The motivation for this activity is due to upcoming ESA space laser missions like ADM-Aeolus, EarthCARE, or BEPI Colombo. The ADM-Aeolus satellite is operating a Doppler wind LIDAR laser source named ALADIN (Atmospheric Laser Doppler Instrument), and will be the first system to be launched, scheduled in 2011. ALADIN aims at measuring wind profiles on a global scale as required by the climatology and meteorology fraternities. In all these missions, high performance laser systems rely on the efficient and long term stable operation of passive and active optical components.
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