LASER RADAR DEVELOPMENT.
Progress rept. Sep 67-Mar 68,
LEAR SIEGLER INC SANTA MONICA CA ASTRONICS DIV
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The high average power, pulsed solid state laser development continued with the testing of a RGI prototype head using a 12 in. x 4 in. cord NdYAG rod. This head exhibited a reduction in slope efficiency, from the breadboard results, similar to the 34 in. YAG experiments. Tests indicate that the reduced slope efficiency is due to operating the poor optical quality material in a polarized configuration. A cooling experiment with cored and solid Ndglass rods confirmed that coring a laser rod improves its power handling capability. The RGI prototype laser head was operated at nearly 4 kw input with no significant difficulty. The maximum observed output in the Q-switched mode was 400 millijoules and the maximum pulse repetition rate achieved was 20 PPS. It was found that the absorption cross-section of the excited state of rose bengal dye is too small to permit Q-switching with NDYAG lasers however, it does Q-switch Ndglass because of the smaller gain of Nd in glass as compared to YAG. Several schemes for suppressing whitecap backgrounds in laser radar images were examined through studies of high contrast photographs of the sea. The simple schemes all proved inadequate and the more sophisticated methods were beyond the scope of the present contrast. Analytical efforts were directed toward several potential applications of laser radars to military problems. Included were studies of airborne rescue in Southeast Asia, a triple-function laser radar for aircraft carriers, and submarine periscope detection. Author
- Lasers and Masers
- Optical Detection and Detectors