Water vapor differential absorption lidar measurements using a diode-pumped all-solid-state laser at 935 nm
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- Fix, A., Ehret, G., Löhring, J. et al. Appl. Phys. B (2011) 102: 905. doi:10.1007/s00340-010-4310-5
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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 (M2) 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.