Abstract

A second-generation pulse-burst laser system for high-speed flow diagnostics is described in detail. The laser can produce a burst of high-energy pulses (of the order of hundreds of millijoules per pulse) with individual pulse durations of less than 10 ns and pulse separations as short as 1 μs. A key improvement is the addition of a phase-conjugate mirror, which effectively isolates the high-intensity, short-duration pulses from the low-intensity, long-duration background illumination. It allows for more-efficient amplification and harmonic generation, with efficiencies exceeding 50% for second-harmonic and 40% for third-harmonic generation. Characteristics of the laser system, including gain narrowing, pulse-burst energy distribution, pulse narrowing, and overall pulse-burst energy, are described. In addition, the applicability of the laser for spectroscopic-based flow diagnostics is demonstrated through the presentation of megahertz-rate planar Doppler velocimetry results.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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