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The TI:Sapphire Ring Laser Gyroscope

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This dissertation studied the Tisapphire laser as a pulsed ring laser gyroscope. Several new cavity designs were demonstrated, including a saturable absorber mode-locked laser gyroscope, a linear cavity laser, a Kerr-lens mode-locked femtosecond laser gyroscope, and a solid-state mutual Kerr-lens mode-locked ring gyroscope. A solid-state ring laser gyroscope using a dye-jet saturable absorber was studied for the first time. This laser produced the lowest beat frequencies recorded in a pulsed laser 10 Hz with a 10 Hz bandwidth and also the narrowest beat note bandwidth at 0.85 Hz. This low beat frequency bandwidth corresponds to a nonreciprocal change in optical path length of 7x10exp -15 meters. A sensitive technique to measure the intensity dependent refractive index, n2, was developed using this laser. Null-bias dithering was demonstrated for the first time using an electro-optic modulator. A new method of extracting the average beat frequency from a dithered laser was discovered and the experimental result was verified with an analytic solution. A novel linear cavity with two pulses in the cavity was used for the first time to measure electro-optic coefficients. This laser can be analyzed as an extremely elongated ring laser with the difference being that the pulses are indistinguishable which implies no bias beat frequency. Kerr-lens mode-locking was demonstrated for the first time in a ring laser gyroscope. This laser employed both passive negative and positive feedback in the same Kerr element. Both continuous wave operation and Q-switched mode-locked operation were demonstrated without lock-in. A novel method of stabilizing the crossing point in a ring laser was demonstrated by using mutual Kerr-lens mode-locking which resulted in a bidirectional, solid-state ring laser. Finally a bidirectional OPO ring gyroscope was designed.

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  • Lasers and Masers

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