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Journal Article

Photon Return On-Sky Test of Pulsed Sodium Laser Guide Star with D2b Repumping

Kai Jin, Kai Wei, Lu Feng, Yong Bo, JunWei Zuo, Min Li, HanChu Fu, XiaoLin Dai, Qi Bian, Ji Yao, Chang Xu, ZhiChao Wang, QingJun Peng, XiangHui Xue, XueWu Cheng, ChangHui Rao, ZuYan Xu and YuDong Zhang
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Vol. 127, No. 954 (August 2015), pp. 749-756
DOI: 10.1086/682672
Stable URL:
Page Count: 8
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AbstractSodium laser guide star (LGS) system has become one of the critical components in modern astronomical adaptive optics system (AOS), especially for the next-generation extremely large telescopes, such as the Thirty Meter Telescope and the European Extremely Large Telescope. Since the wavefront detection performance of AOS is directly related to the brightness of LGS, it is important for AOS to maximize its photon generation efficiency by all means. Sodium D2b line repumping is such a technique that can greatly increase the returned photons for either sodium continuous wave (CW) laser or pulsed laser. This technique has been studied theoretically and field tested with a 20 W CW laser by European Southern Observatory team. However, field test results of a 20 W class pulsed laser with D2b repumping have not been reported yet. In this paper, our latest field test results with theoretical comparison of D2b repumping with a 20 W quasi-continuous wave (QCW) pulsed laser will be presented. With a linearly polarized beam, approximate 40% photon return enhancement was achieved when 10% of laser power was detuned to D2b line, which agreed well with results from a rate equation-based Monte Carlo photon return simulation program. Both experiment and simulation results indicate that with a higher laser intensity projected at the sodium layer, the D2b repumping will be more effective.

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