News Column

Patent Issued for Multiple Wavelength Laser System

May 28, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Electronics Newsweekly -- A patent by the inventor Moore, Thomas Z. (San Antonio, TX), filed on January 24, 2013, was published online on May 13, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Alexandria, Virginia, by VerticalNews correspondents.

Patent number 8724671 is assigned to Southwest Research Institute (San Antonio, TX).

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "There exist numerous applications that require the delivery of multiple simultaneous laser wavelengths. These include, for example, differential absorption lidar (DIAL), non-linear frequency mixing, pump-probe detection, and laser resonance ionization. Typically, multiple laser systems are needed to generate these different wavelengths, but there are problems with this approach including timing jitter issues and the burden of maintaining multiple laser systems. In addition, many applications require the laser to operate in uncontrolled and noisy environments that can adversely affect the performance of the lasers. What is needed, therefore, is a tunable laser system with the capability to produce two or more discrete wavelengths of light simultaneously and with the capability to generate Fourier-transform limited pulsed laser output on every pulse in an uncontrolled and noisy environment."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "A laser system in accordance with embodiments of the present disclosure may produce Fourier-transform limited (i.e., minimum possible spectral width for a given pulse duration) laser pulsed output for multiple discrete wavelengths simultaneously. The laser may develop from one to four, or more, discrete wavelengths of light, preferably within the Near Infrared (NIR) wavelength range of the spectrum and may be dynamically tuned continuously during laser operation. In addition, the laser may employ a ramp-hold-fire technique for mode-matching a seed laser output to a slave amplifier cavity, resulting in laser output from the slave amplifier cavity which has improved immunity to mechanical noise throughout the acoustic range.

"Embodiments of the disclosure employ an injection-seeded Ti:Sapphire ring laser with the capability to utilize both co- and counter-propagating seed beams and improved active cavity control response time to improve the noise immunity throughout the acoustic regime. The seed lasers allow for increased tunability, the capability to operate at one or more discrete wavelengths, and Fourier-transform limited operation at each discrete wavelength on each output pulse. Additionally, for applications where increased line width is desired, the seed laser can be adjusted to increase the slave oscillator line width. The use of a counter propagating ring cavity decreases the likelihood of mode competition due to the traveling waves in opposite directions, and the ring design prevents spatial hole burning.

"In certain embodiments, a system for generating multiple simultaneous laser wavelengths is provided wherein said system comprises a pulsed slave laser comprising a non-linear electro-optic crystal optically coupled to a lasing crystal in a ring cavity configuration, said non-linear electro-optic crystal configured to adjust an optical path length of said ring cavity in response to an applied voltage potential; an energy pump configured to initiate a pulse cycle in said pulsed slave laser in response to a trigger; a cavity control circuit configured to apply said voltage potential to said non-linear electro-optic crystal to generate a cavity resonance condition associated with said adjusted optical path length, said cavity control circuit further configured to provide said trigger to said energy pump in response to a detection of said cavity resonance condition; and one or more seed lasers configured to inject a single frequency laser beam into said pulsed slave laser, wherein said pulsed slave laser preferentially amplifies said single frequency laser beam in response to said cavity resonance condition matching a resonance condition of said seed laser.

"In certain embodiments, a method for generating multiple simultaneous laser wavelengths is provided, wherein said method comprises configuring a non-linear electro-optic crystal to adjust an optical path length of a pulsed slave laser, said pulsed slave laser comprising a lasing crystal coupled to said non-linear electro-optic crystal in a ring cavity configuration; applying a voltage potential to said non-linear electro-optic crystal to generate a cavity resonance condition associated with said adjusted optical path length; generating a trigger to an energy pump in response to detecting said cavity resonance condition, said energy pump configured to initiate a pulse cycle in said pulsed slave laser in response to said trigger; injecting one or more single frequency laser beams into said pulsed slave laser; and amplifying said single frequency laser beams in response to said cavity resonance condition matching a resonance condition of a seed laser associated with said single frequency laser beam."

URL and more information on this patent, see: Moore, Thomas Z.. Multiple Wavelength Laser System. U.S. Patent Number 8724671, filed January 24, 2013, and published online on May 13, 2014. Patent URL: http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=46&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=2276&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PTXT&s1=20140513.PD.&OS=ISD/20140513&RS=ISD/20140513

Keywords for this news article include: Electronics, Electro-optics, Southwest Research Institute.

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Source: Electronics Newsweekly


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