Laser Risk Reduction Program (LRRP)
Laser / Lidar remote sensing techniques satisfy a variety of measurement requirements for Earth science, as well as for space science, space exploration, and aeronautics. Lasers allow remote sensing of earth-system variables such as sea elevation, atmospheric composition, wind profiles, cloud cover, ice mass, and vegetation canopy.
The Laser Risk Reduction Program was established in 2001 by ESTO in order to formalize design, testing, and development procedures for durable laser systems and architectures, particularly in the critical 1- and 2-micron wavelengths. LRRP aimed to demonstrate laser technologies that could be reliably and confidently applied to a wide range of applications. Many LRRP projects have found their way into formal Earth observing instruments and systems. 35 LRRP projects were completed by 2010 when program funding ended.
- High-performance 1- and 2- Micron Lasers
- High-reliability Pump Laser Diode Arrays
- Space Radiation Tolerance
- Frequency Control and Wavelength Conversion
- Electrical Efficiency
- Heat Removal and Thermal Management
- Contamination Tolerance
- Photoreceiver and Detector Development
Earth Science Application Areas for Laser Technology
Clouds / AerosolsTropospheric Winds
Land, Ice, and Ocean
Supported by years of materials and diode advances, twomicron laser systems are now evolving to well engineered ruggedized, and packaged transmitters. The component shown above is a five diode partially conductively cooled laser head with heritage from several LRRP projects. This laser head is now part of the transmitter for the IIP Doppler Aerosol Wind Lidar (DAWN) project. (image credit: NASA LaRC)
The Laser Risk Reduction Program has produced leadingedge laser technologies for NASA as well as for use in spin-off applications. This image shows a clean, distinct cut made in human tissue by an LRRP-funded, eye safe, 40 watt, 1.94 micron Thulium fiber laser that has shown promise for use in medical procedures. (image credit: N. Fried)