Abstract

The hybrid lidar-radar technique is commonly used for shallow underwater target detection. This technique requires a powerful blue-green RF-modulated laser with stable microwave frequency. In this paper, a novel modulator design perfectly suited for this application is proposed. It consists of an extra-cavity modulator composed of two plane mirrors and a second-harmonic generator stage within the cavity to maximize the energy efficiency. This modulator is coupled with a picosecond Nd:YAG infrared laser source to insure the emission of a powerful pulse (up to 5 mJ). Results considering this architecture show stable modulation frequency and a powerful modulated beam. As the emitted signal lasts only a few nanoseconds, a range-gating method can be used for target localization. This emitted signal has experimentally proven to preserve input beam polarization, which also can be employed to enhance the target return.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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