Title of Paper: Design and Testing of the PICASSO-CENA Laser Transmitter Subsystem
Principal Author: Dr. Floyd Hovis
Abstract: In late 1997, Fibertek was funded by the Langley Research Center and Ball Aerospace and Technologies Corp. to build the Risk Reduction Laser (RRL), a prototype laser transmitter that would meet the performance requirements of a space-based aerosol monitoring lidar and thus reduce the risk for such a mission. The key laser requirements were 110 mJ per pulse at 532 nm and 1064 nm, 20 Hz operation, conductive cooling, and a lifetime of 2 billion shots. Approximately 10 months after initiation of the project, the RRL was delivered to Ball Aerospace and a test to demonstrate the required 2 billion shot lifetime was initiated. The success of the RRL contributed positively to the LaRC/BATC team winning the PICASSO-CENA ESSP mission. Since the initiation of the life test in 1998, the Risk Reduction Laser has accumulated 1.8 billion shots with an output energy fall-off of only about 5%.The RRL testing validated a number of important designs and processes that are being incorporated into the PICASSO-CENA flight laser. These include:
The optical design of the RRL has provided the basis for the flight laser for the PICASSO-CENA mission. The requirements for the flight laser that require additional design and test validation include:
Our presentation will discuss the details of the Risk Reduction Laser design and testing and give the status of the PICASSO-CENA flight laser design and test.