Frequency Tuned CO2 Laser
Final technical rept. 19 Mar 1973-30 Jun 1974
HUGHES RESEARCH LABS MALIBU CA
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The program represents an effort to exploit the advantages of waveguide laser technology for the development of advanced components suitable for optical radar applications. These include a CO2 laser local oscillator, tunable plus or minus 750 MHz from line center for heterodyne detection of doppler shifted signals, and an intermediate level power amplifier. A parametric study of tunable waveguide lasers is described in which tube geometry, gas mixture, and mirror mount design were all varied to determine the optimum design for frequency tunability and stability. The final device consists of a 1.0-mm square by 9.5-cm long waveguide laser with 80 mW output power, 1.2 GHz tunability, and 10 kHz short term frequency stability. A 1.65 mm i.d. x 1 m waveguide amplifier test bed was constructed with an active gain length of 77 cm. The authors discuss the specific trade-offs involved in designing a full scale device which achieves the required output power and bandwidth.
- Lasers and Masers