Abstract

A long-path carbon dioxide laser amplifier, based on a coaxial radio frequency discharge gain medium combined with a Herriott cell folding system, is investigated as a predetection amplifier in a coherent laser radar system. The amplifier signal gain and noise characteristics are measured, and the signal-to-noise enhancement produced in a Doppler radar system is determined over a range of operating conditions of the amplifier. A maximum enhancement factor of 12.4 dB is measured for a cw gain cell, which is in good agreement with the theoretical prediction.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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