Abstract

An all-solid-state laser transmitter for a water-vapor and temperature differential absorption lidar (DIAL) system in the near infrared is introduced. The laser system is based on a master–slave configuration. As the slave laser a Q-switched unidirectional alexandrite ring laser is used, which is injection seeded by the master laser, a cw Ti:sapphire ring laser. It is demonstrated that this laser system has, what is to my knowledge, the highest frequency stability (15 MHz rms), narrowest bandwidth (<40 MHz), and highest spectral purity (>99.99%) of all the laser transmitters developed to date in the near infrared. These specifications fulfill the requirements for water-vapor measurements with an error caused by laser properties of <5% and temperature measurements with an error caused by laser properties of <1 K in the whole troposphere. The specifications are maintained during long-term operation in the field. The single-mode operation of this laser system makes the narrow-band detection of the DIAL backscatter signal possible. Thus the system has the potential to be used for accurate temperature measurements and for simultaneous DIAL and Doppler wind measurements.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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