Satellite-based laser-based remote sensing (lidar) of the atmosphere can be used for meteorology, atmospheric chemistry and climate change but requires high energy (100mJ-class) lasers with precision wavelength control. A high energy Alexandrite laser source is an interesting alternative to Nd:YAG in future Earth Observation missions with its added scientific benefit of broad wavelength tunability (~700-850nm) and tunable UV operation by simple, efficient frequency doubling. Alexandrite (Cr-doped chrysoberyl) has excellent thermo-mechanical properties and long upper-state lifetime (260μs) to support high-energy laser operation using efficient (red) diode-pumping. In prior work on diode-end-pumped Alexandrite, pulse energy has been limited so far to mJ-class operation [1,2]. This paper describes designs and initial results of scaling developments of an end-pumped oscillator towards 100 mJ-class by employing (two-stage) amplification based on side-pumped Alexandrite slab architecture in a master-oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) configuration.

© 2017 IEEE

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