Abstract

The Ti:sapphire (TISA) laser transmitter of the mobile, three-dimensional-scanning water–vapor differential absorption lidar (DIAL) of the University of Hohenheim is described in detail. The dynamically-stable, unidirectional ring resonator contains a single Brewster-cut TISA crystal, which is pumped from both sides with 250 Hz using a diode-pumped frequency-doubled Nd:YAG laser. The resonator is injection seeded and actively frequency-stabilized using a phase-sensitive technique. The TISA laser is operating near 820 nm, which is optimum for ground-based water–vapor DIAL measurements. An average output power of up to 6.75 W with a beam quality factor of M2<2 is reached. The pointing stability is <13μrad (rms), the depolarization <1%. The overall optical–optical conversion efficiency is up to 19%. The pulse length is 40 ns with a pulse linewidth of <157MHz. The short- and long-term frequency stabilities are 10 MHz (rms). A spectral purity of 99.9% was determined by pointing to a stratus cloud in low-elevation scanning mode with a cloud bottom height of 2.4km.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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