A pulse of laser light is switched out of a pulse train and spatially dispersed into its constituent wavelengths. The pulse is collimated to a suitable size and then diffracted by high groove density multilayer dielectric gratings. This imparts a different angle to each individual wavelength so that, when brought to the far field with a lens, the colors have spread out in a linear arrangement. The distance between wavelengths (resolution) can be tailored for the specific laser and application by altering the number of times the beam strikes the diffraction gratings, the groove density of the gratings and the focal length of the lens. End portions of the linear arrangement are each directed to a respective detector, which converts the signal to a 1 if the level meets a set-point, and a 0 if the level does not. If both detectors produces a 1, then the pulse train is allowed to propagate into an optical system.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC52-07NA27344 between the United States Department of Energy and Lawrence Livermore National Security, LLC.