Abstract

We have demonstrated and characterized a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser under continuous operation for over 7 billion shots. Through periodic monitoring of the laser's vital signs, the system dynamics were decoupled to identify the sources of degradation. The initial and the final pump-laser diode wavelengths and powers were measured and compared. No evidence of an accumulative effect leading to optical damage at a fluence lower than the single-shot threshold was observed.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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