Space Laser Design
Final technical rept. Mar-Dec 1972
LOCKHEED MISSILES AND SPACE CO INC PALO ALTO CA PALO ALTO RESEARCH LAB
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This report describes the results of a program to design and develop a high-efficiency CW NdYAG laser which has space-applicable thermal properties. The laser is being developed for use in the 405B Laser Communications System. Since liquid cooling in the laser was not allowed, other means were found for efficiently cooling the laser rod and pump lamp and for removing the lamp envelope infrared radiation from the pump cavity. A laser was constructed that incorporated radiation cooling of the CW potassium-rubidium-arc pump lamp and direct-conduction cooling of the laser rod. The rod was soldered to a slotted composite metal wedge heat sink for minimum residual stress and greatest uniformity of thermal gradients in the rod. An optical pumping cavity was developed, using a Pyrex sphere coated with a multilayer dielectric cold mirror which transmits or absorbs unwanted lamp radiation while efficiently imaging pump band radiation in the laser rod. To date, the laser has produced 0.7 W of multimode output at 1.06 micrometer without correction of the astigmatism thermally induced in the rod.
- Lasers and Masers
- Non-Radio Communications