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Method and apparatus for generating high power laser pulses in the two to six micron wavelength range

United States Patent

*** EXPIRED ***
December 10, 1996
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Apparatus performs a method of generating one or more output laser pulses in a range of 2 to 6 microns. When a plurality of the output laser pulses are generated, a first output pulse has any selected wavelength within the range and a second output pulse is temporally closely spaced relative to the first output pulse and has a chosen wavelength differing from the selected wavelength. An oscillator laser cavity is provided with a tunable oscillator rod capable of generating initial laser pulses within a range of from 750 to 1000 nm, and a tuning element is coupled to the rod. A flashlamp is operable to pump the rod. For two pulse operation, the flashlamp has a given duration. A Q-switch provides the initial laser pulses upon operation of the tuning element and the flashlamp. A Raman device coupled to the rod shifts the wavelength of such initial laser pulse into the range of from 2 to 6 microns to form the output laser pulse having a wavelength within the range. For multiple pulses, a controller causes the Q-switch to provide first and second ones of the initial laser pulses, spaced by a time interval less than the given duration. Also, a selector coupled to the tuning element is operable within such duration to successively select the wavelength of the first output pulse and the chosen wavelength of the second initial pulse. The Raman device is responsive to each of the initial light pulses to generate radiation at first and second Stokes wavelengths, each of said the output laser pulses being radiation at the second Stokes wavelength.
MacPherson; David C. (Conifer, CO), Nelson; Loren D. (Evergreen, CO), O'Brien; Martin J. (Bailey, CO)
Ophir Corporation (Littleton, CO)
08/ 437,676
May 9, 1995
STATEMENT OF U.S. GOVERNMENT RIGHTS The U.S. Department of Energy has certain rights in the present invention under Contract No. DE-FG03-92ER81318 with Ophir Corporation.