Diamond Raman Laser For Telescope Adaptive Optics

For use with adaptive optical (AO) systems combined with big ground-based astronomical telescopes, artificial “guide stars” are created in the mesosphere at an altitude of about 90 km using lasers that emit light at the sodium line, which is a doublet at a wavelength of about 589 nm. Astronomers can use AO to rectify atmospheric aberrations of light traveling to and from space thanks to these artificial stars. Communication from Earth to Space is another application for this device.

Recently, scientists created a continuous-wave diamond Raman laser that emits at the sodium line, which they claim is an improved laser device for these uses. Instead of using stimulated emission, diamond Raman lasers operate through stimulated dispersion. The scientists discovered that this fundamental distinction allows the laser to run more steadily at a single pure frequency.

Its characteristics are already competitive with other approaches. Still, the real significance of the result, according to the researchers, is that the technology can be further developed to improve the quality of future guide stars. The laser delivered higher power and efficiency than previous guide-star laser systems of its particular type.

Diamond is less likely to experience unwanted optical distortions and can disperse heat quickly. This combo offers a method for creating guide-star beams with increased strength.

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