, Volume 102, Issue 4, pp 905-915,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 24 Nov 2010

Water vapor differential absorption lidar measurements using a diode-pumped all-solid-state laser at 935 nm


A diode-pumped, single-frequency laser system emitting at 935 nm has recently been developed to serve as the transmitter for water vapor differential absorption lidar (DIAL) measurements. This laser uses Nd:YGG (Y3Ga5O12) as the active medium and emits radiation directly at 935 nm without the need of additional frequency conversion processes. The system was diode-pumped at 806 nm and was built up in a master-oscillator-power-amplifier configuration. It generates more than 30 mJ of pulse energy at 100 Hz repetition rate with a beam quality (M 2) of better than 1.4. Since water vapor DIAL demands for stringent requirements of the spectral properties those were carefully investigated in the scope of this paper. Single-frequency operation is achieved by injection seeding and active length control of the oscillator cavity. The range of continuously tunable single-frequency radiation extends to ∼0.4 nm centered around 935.31 nm. Values of the spectral purity of >99.996% were determined using long-pass absorption measurements in the atmosphere exceeding the requirements by a large margin. Finally, for the first time water vapor DIAL measurements were performed using a Nd:YGG laser. The reported results show much promise of these directly pumped lasers at 935 nm for future spaceborne but also airborne water vapor lidar systems.