Abstract

We demonstrate precise linearization of ultrabroadband laser frequency chirps via a fiber-based self-heterodyne technique to enable extremely high-resolution, frequency-modulated cw laser-radar (LADAR) and a wide range of other metrology applications. Our frequency chirps cover bandwidths up to nearly 5THz with frequency errors as low as 170kHz, relative to linearity. We show that this performance enables 31-μm transform-limited LADAR range resolution (FWHM) and 86 nm range precisions over a 1.5 m range baseline. Much longer range baselines are possible but are limited by atmospheric turbulence and fiber dispersion.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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