Abstract

A small, lightweight, low-cost prototype laser has been developed for use in a microlaser range finder (µLRF). The laser design is based on a flash-lamp-pumped, Nd:YAG laser with a Cr4+ passive Q switch. The design incorporates a monolithic potassium titanyl arsenide (KTA) optical parametric oscillator (OPO) in an intracavity configuration, producing output at 1.54 µm. Precisely cut, properly coated crystals make up the laser resonator, reducing the number of components and enabling laser oscillation with the simplest of alignment fixtures. The 1.54-µm laser cavity consists of only four rectangular-shaped crystals: a Nd:YAG laser rod, a Nd:YAG endcap, a Cr4+ Q switch, and a KTA OPO. Along with a ceramic laser pallet and a flash lamp, these six components make up a prototype monoblock (essentially a one-piece) laser transmitter. Several of these simple prototypes have been built and tested, giving a nominal output of >3.0 mJ at 1.54 µm with a 27-ns pulse width. The transmitter was incorporated into a breadboard laser range finder, and successful ranging operations were performed to targets at ranges in excess of 3 km.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

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  1. J. E. Nettleton, D. N. Barr, B. W. Schilling, J. Lei, S. M. Goldwasser, “Micro-laser range finder development: using the monolithic approach,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 117–131.
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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    [CrossRef] [PubMed]
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  5. M. Acharekar, T. Whittaker, G. Xiao, M. Bass, L. Marshall, “An intracavity optical parametric oscillator in a passively Q-switched laser,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 137.
  6. R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
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    [CrossRef]
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  9. J. A. Hutchinson, T. H. Allik, “Diode array-pumped Er,Yb:Phosphate glass laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 1424–1426 (1992).
    [CrossRef]
  10. C. E. Nourrcier, R. D. Stultz, “Er:Yb:glass laser range finder for Land Warrior,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 133–135.
  11. E. O. Ammann, J. M. Yarborough, M. K. Oshman, C. Montgomery, “Efficient internal optical parametric oscillation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 16, 309–312 (1970).
    [CrossRef]
  12. J. Falk, J. M. Yarborough, E. O. Ammann, “Internal optical parametric oscillation,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-7, 359–369 (1971).
    [CrossRef]
  13. R. Lavi, A. Englander, R. Lallouz, “Highly efficient low-threshold tunable all-solid-state intracavity optical parametric oscillator in the mid infrared,” Opt. Lett. 21, 800–802 (1996).
    [CrossRef] [PubMed]

1998 (2)

R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
[CrossRef]

R. S. Conroy, C. F. Rae, G. J. Friel, M. H. Dunn, B. D. Sinclair, J. M. Ley, “Compact low-threshold Q-switched intracavity optical parametric oscillator,” Opt. Lett. 23, 1348–1350 (1998).
[CrossRef]

1996 (1)

1994 (1)

1992 (1)

J. A. Hutchinson, T. H. Allik, “Diode array-pumped Er,Yb:Phosphate glass laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 1424–1426 (1992).
[CrossRef]

1985 (1)

1971 (1)

J. Falk, J. M. Yarborough, E. O. Ammann, “Internal optical parametric oscillation,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-7, 359–369 (1971).
[CrossRef]

1970 (1)

E. O. Ammann, J. M. Yarborough, M. K. Oshman, C. Montgomery, “Efficient internal optical parametric oscillation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 16, 309–312 (1970).
[CrossRef]

Acharekar, M.

M. Acharekar, T. Whittaker, G. Xiao, M. Bass, L. Marshall, “An intracavity optical parametric oscillator in a passively Q-switched laser,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 137.

Allik, T. H.

J. A. Hutchinson, T. H. Allik, “Diode array-pumped Er,Yb:Phosphate glass laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 1424–1426 (1992).
[CrossRef]

B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, S. E. Sverchkov, T. H. Allik, J. A. Hutchinson, “Diode-pumped and FTIR Q-switched laser performance of novel Yb-Er glass,” in Advanced Solid-State Lasers, T. Y. Fan, B. Chai, eds., Vol. 20 of OSA Proceedings Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1994), pp. 148–150.

Ammann, E. O.

J. Falk, J. M. Yarborough, E. O. Ammann, “Internal optical parametric oscillation,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-7, 359–369 (1971).
[CrossRef]

E. O. Ammann, J. M. Yarborough, M. K. Oshman, C. Montgomery, “Efficient internal optical parametric oscillation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 16, 309–312 (1970).
[CrossRef]

Barr, D. N.

J. E. Nettleton, D. N. Barr, B. W. Schilling, J. Lei, S. M. Goldwasser, “Micro-laser range finder development: using the monolithic approach,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 117–131.

Bass, M.

M. Acharekar, T. Whittaker, G. Xiao, M. Bass, L. Marshall, “An intracavity optical parametric oscillator in a passively Q-switched laser,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 137.

Byer, R. L.

Chicklis, E.

P. Ketteridge, I. Lee, M. Gagnon, W. Radcliff, E. Chicklis, “Miniature eyesafe range finder,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 15 of 1995 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1995), p. 257.

Conroy, R. S.

Denker, B. I.

B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, S. E. Sverchkov, T. H. Allik, J. A. Hutchinson, “Diode-pumped and FTIR Q-switched laser performance of novel Yb-Er glass,” in Advanced Solid-State Lasers, T. Y. Fan, B. Chai, eds., Vol. 20 of OSA Proceedings Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1994), pp. 148–150.

Dunn, M. H.

Eckardt, R. C.

Englander, A.

Falk, J.

J. Falk, J. M. Yarborough, E. O. Ammann, “Internal optical parametric oscillation,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-7, 359–369 (1971).
[CrossRef]

Fluck, R.

R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Friel, G. J.

Gagnon, M.

P. Ketteridge, I. Lee, M. Gagnon, W. Radcliff, E. Chicklis, “Miniature eyesafe range finder,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 15 of 1995 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1995), p. 257.

Gini, E.

R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Goldwasser, S. M.

J. E. Nettleton, D. N. Barr, B. W. Schilling, J. Lei, S. M. Goldwasser, “Micro-laser range finder development: using the monolithic approach,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 117–131.

Häring, R.

R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Hutchinson, J. A.

J. A. Hutchinson, T. H. Allik, “Diode array-pumped Er,Yb:Phosphate glass laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 1424–1426 (1992).
[CrossRef]

B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, S. E. Sverchkov, T. H. Allik, J. A. Hutchinson, “Diode-pumped and FTIR Q-switched laser performance of novel Yb-Er glass,” in Advanced Solid-State Lasers, T. Y. Fan, B. Chai, eds., Vol. 20 of OSA Proceedings Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1994), pp. 148–150.

Kane, T. J.

Keller, U.

R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Ketteridge, P.

P. Ketteridge, I. Lee, M. Gagnon, W. Radcliff, E. Chicklis, “Miniature eyesafe range finder,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 15 of 1995 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1995), p. 257.

Korchagin, A. A.

B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, S. E. Sverchkov, T. H. Allik, J. A. Hutchinson, “Diode-pumped and FTIR Q-switched laser performance of novel Yb-Er glass,” in Advanced Solid-State Lasers, T. Y. Fan, B. Chai, eds., Vol. 20 of OSA Proceedings Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1994), pp. 148–150.

Lallouz, R.

Lavi, R.

Lee, I.

P. Ketteridge, I. Lee, M. Gagnon, W. Radcliff, E. Chicklis, “Miniature eyesafe range finder,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 15 of 1995 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1995), p. 257.

Lei, J.

J. E. Nettleton, D. N. Barr, B. W. Schilling, J. Lei, S. M. Goldwasser, “Micro-laser range finder development: using the monolithic approach,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 117–131.

Ley, J. M.

Marshall, L.

M. Acharekar, T. Whittaker, G. Xiao, M. Bass, L. Marshall, “An intracavity optical parametric oscillator in a passively Q-switched laser,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 137.

Melchior, H.

R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Montgomery, C.

E. O. Ammann, J. M. Yarborough, M. K. Oshman, C. Montgomery, “Efficient internal optical parametric oscillation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 16, 309–312 (1970).
[CrossRef]

Nettleton, J. E.

J. E. Nettleton, D. N. Barr, B. W. Schilling, J. Lei, S. M. Goldwasser, “Micro-laser range finder development: using the monolithic approach,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 117–131.

Nourrcier, C. E.

C. E. Nourrcier, R. D. Stultz, “Er:Yb:glass laser range finder for Land Warrior,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 133–135.

Oshman, M. K.

E. O. Ammann, J. M. Yarborough, M. K. Oshman, C. Montgomery, “Efficient internal optical parametric oscillation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 16, 309–312 (1970).
[CrossRef]

Osiko, V. V.

B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, S. E. Sverchkov, T. H. Allik, J. A. Hutchinson, “Diode-pumped and FTIR Q-switched laser performance of novel Yb-Er glass,” in Advanced Solid-State Lasers, T. Y. Fan, B. Chai, eds., Vol. 20 of OSA Proceedings Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1994), pp. 148–150.

Paschotta, R.

R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Radcliff, W.

P. Ketteridge, I. Lee, M. Gagnon, W. Radcliff, E. Chicklis, “Miniature eyesafe range finder,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 15 of 1995 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1995), p. 257.

Rae, C. F.

Schilling, B. W.

J. E. Nettleton, D. N. Barr, B. W. Schilling, J. Lei, S. M. Goldwasser, “Micro-laser range finder development: using the monolithic approach,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 117–131.

Serkland, D. K.

Sinclair, B. D.

Stultz, R. D.

C. E. Nourrcier, R. D. Stultz, “Er:Yb:glass laser range finder for Land Warrior,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 133–135.

Sverchkov, S. E.

B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, S. E. Sverchkov, T. H. Allik, J. A. Hutchinson, “Diode-pumped and FTIR Q-switched laser performance of novel Yb-Er glass,” in Advanced Solid-State Lasers, T. Y. Fan, B. Chai, eds., Vol. 20 of OSA Proceedings Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1994), pp. 148–150.

Whittaker, T.

M. Acharekar, T. Whittaker, G. Xiao, M. Bass, L. Marshall, “An intracavity optical parametric oscillator in a passively Q-switched laser,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 137.

Xiao, G.

M. Acharekar, T. Whittaker, G. Xiao, M. Bass, L. Marshall, “An intracavity optical parametric oscillator in a passively Q-switched laser,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 137.

Yarborough, J. M.

J. Falk, J. M. Yarborough, E. O. Ammann, “Internal optical parametric oscillation,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-7, 359–369 (1971).
[CrossRef]

E. O. Ammann, J. M. Yarborough, M. K. Oshman, C. Montgomery, “Efficient internal optical parametric oscillation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 16, 309–312 (1970).
[CrossRef]

Appl. Phys. Lett. (3)

R. Fluck, R. Häring, R. Paschotta, E. Gini, H. Melchior, U. Keller, “Eyesafe pulsed microchip laser using semiconductor saturable absorber mirrors,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 72, 3273–3275 (1998).
[CrossRef]

J. A. Hutchinson, T. H. Allik, “Diode array-pumped Er,Yb:Phosphate glass laser,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 60, 1424–1426 (1992).
[CrossRef]

E. O. Ammann, J. M. Yarborough, M. K. Oshman, C. Montgomery, “Efficient internal optical parametric oscillation,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 16, 309–312 (1970).
[CrossRef]

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (1)

J. Falk, J. M. Yarborough, E. O. Ammann, “Internal optical parametric oscillation,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-7, 359–369 (1971).
[CrossRef]

Opt. Lett. (4)

Other (5)

J. E. Nettleton, D. N. Barr, B. W. Schilling, J. Lei, S. M. Goldwasser, “Micro-laser range finder development: using the monolithic approach,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 117–131.

C. E. Nourrcier, R. D. Stultz, “Er:Yb:glass laser range finder for Land Warrior,” in Proceedings of the Infrared Information Symposia (IRIS) Active Systems 1999 (Infrared Information Analysis Center, Defense Technical Information Center, Ann Arbor, Mich., 1999), Vol. 1, pp. 133–135.

B. I. Denker, A. A. Korchagin, V. V. Osiko, S. E. Sverchkov, T. H. Allik, J. A. Hutchinson, “Diode-pumped and FTIR Q-switched laser performance of novel Yb-Er glass,” in Advanced Solid-State Lasers, T. Y. Fan, B. Chai, eds., Vol. 20 of OSA Proceedings Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1994), pp. 148–150.

P. Ketteridge, I. Lee, M. Gagnon, W. Radcliff, E. Chicklis, “Miniature eyesafe range finder,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 15 of 1995 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1995), p. 257.

M. Acharekar, T. Whittaker, G. Xiao, M. Bass, L. Marshall, “An intracavity optical parametric oscillator in a passively Q-switched laser,” in Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, Vol. 6 of 1998 OSA Technical Digest Series (Optical Society of America, Washington, D.C., 1998), p. 137.

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Figures (7)

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Monoblock approach used in the µLRF laser transmitter.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Schematic of the resonator design.

Fig. 3
Fig. 3

Input–output relationship for the monolithic KTA OPO.

Fig. 4
Fig. 4

Oscilloscope trace showing the 27-ns pulse width of the 1.54-µm output.

Fig. 5
Fig. 5

Monoblock laser transmitter’s (raw beam) far-field pattern.

Fig. 6
Fig. 6

Lasers95 performance modeling for the µLRF.

Fig. 7
Fig. 7

Far-field pattern of the µLRF system.

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