Diode-pumped single-frequency-Nd:YGG-MOPA for water–vapor DIAL measurements: design, setup and performance
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A diode-pumped Q-switched and injection-seeded single-frequency laser, generating tunable laser radiation at 935 nm, is presented. Using Nd:YGG (Y3Ga5O12) as the active medium, the laser that was developed to serve as a transmitter for water–vapor lidar measurements. The configuration consists of a stable resonator in rod geometry that is injection seeded by a narrowband diode laser and stabilized by the ramp-and-fire technique. Energy scaling was done in a power amplifier in slab geometry. Both oscillator and amplifier crystal were diode pumped at 806 nm. More than 30 mJ pulse energy at 100 Hz repetition rate with a beam propagation factor of M2<1.4 and pulse duration of 52 ns in single-frequency mode were generated. To our knowledge this is the first direct generation of 935 nm Q-switched pulses from Nd:YGG suitable for water–vapor measurements. The reported results show great promise of this laser in applications where high efficiency and reduced complexity is indispensable, such as for spaceborne or airborne water–vapor lidar instruments.