Abstract

A custom-developed high-power laser based on a Yb-doped amplifier is characterized as a transmitter for deep-space optical communications. The key requirements are high peak power at moderate data rates with good beam quality. The transient pulse dynamics are modeled via a simple rate equation approach and reveal a qualitative agreement with the pulsed performance. Peak powers were obtained up to 8 kW for a 22-ns pulsewidth at a 3.5-kHz repetition rates. The peak power dropped significantly as the repetition rate was increased to 50 kHz.

© 2005 IEEE

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