High-Pulse-Rate IR Source for Improved DIAL Sensitivity

Period of Performance: 05/11/2000 - 11/11/2000


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Q Peak, Inc.
135 South Road Array
Bedford, MA 01730
Principal Investigator


Q-Peak, Inc. proposes to develop a broadly tunable, 10-W-average-power IR source suitable for use as a DIAL system transmitter and based on the combination of a Nd-doped pulsed pump laser and optical parametric oscillators (OPO). The laser source, a compact, diode-pumped, 1-2-kHz pulse-repetition-rate, Q-switched Nd:YLF laser, will pump a tandem OPO system consisting of an angle-tuned, 3-5 micron KTA OPO, and a pump-tuned, 8-12 micron CdSe OPO pumped by the KTA OPO idler. Diode-pumping and nonlinear conversion will substantially increase the efficiency of the proposed source whereas high pulse rates and fast wavelength switching will allow the possibility of reducing the data acquisition time. The Phase I effort will demonstrate a laboratory breadboard 2.5-5 W IR transmitter and develop a design for a higher-efficiency 10-W, 3-12 micron tuning range IR-source. The proposed IR Laser Source will enhance sensitivity of standoff chemical and biological detection by utilizing a high repetition rate laser source that will allow for the possibility of reducing the data acquisition time. In the commercial sector the applications include wide-area pollution monitoring, process control and general scientific investigations.