Development and testing of a frequency-agile optical parametric oscillator system for differential absorption lidar

Petter Weibring, JN Smith, Hans Edner, Sune Svanberg

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An all-solid-state fast-tuning lidar transmitter for range- and temporally resolved atmospheric gas concentration measurements has been developed and thoroughly tested. The instrument is based on a commercial optical parametric oscillator (OPO) laser system, which has been redesigned with piezoelectric transducers mounted on the wavelength-tuning mirror and on the crystal angle tuning element in the OPO. Piezoelectric transducers similarly control a frequency-mixing stage and doubling stage, which have been incorporated to extend system capabilities to the mid-IR and UV regions. The construction allows the system to be tuned to any wavelength, in any order, in the range of the piezoelectric transducers on a shot-to-shot basis. This extends the measurement capabilities far beyond the two-wavelength differential absorption lidar method and enables simultaneous measurements of several gases. The system performance in terms of wavelength, linewidth, and power stability is monitored in real time by an etalon-based wave meter and gas cells. The tests showed that the system was able to produce radiation in the 220-4300-nm-wavelength region, with an average linewidth better than 0.2 cm(-1) and a shot-to-shot tunability up to 160 cm(-1) within 20 ms. The utility of real-time linewidth and wavelength measurements is demonstrated by the ability to identify occasional poor quality laser shots and disregard these measurements. Also, absorption cell measurements of methane and mercury demonstrate the performance in obtaining stable wavelength and linewidth during rapid scans in the mid-IR and UV regions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4478-4484
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2003

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics


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