The need for efficient eyesafe sources has been driven by current interests in laser radar, and ranging systems. At Fibertek, we have shown that such sources can be provided by optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) operating with wallplug efficiencies exceeding 1%. We have investigated both extra- and intra-cavity OPOs, achieving conversion efficiencies of 70% and 30% respectively, and obtaining variable pulse-length output (5-500 ns) from the latter devices. These devices were pumped by a Nd:YAG laser excited transversely by two 5-bar-stacked diode arrays. Repetition rates up to 30 Hz were investigated, however, the intra-cavity OPO demonstrates the potential to run as high as 10-20 kHz.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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