Optical Parametric Oscillator (OPO) Technique for Eye Safe Lasers

One of the most promising state-of-the-art technique for Eye Safe Lasers is based on non-linear optical technique i.e, the Optical Parametric Oscillator. The Laser Science & Technology Centre (LASTEC), Delhi, has successfully developed and demonstrated the generation of eye safe wavelength by OPO technique.

OPO System for Eye Safe LasersEye safe wavelength was generated from a OPO employing a non-linear crystal pumped by Nd:YAG Laser operating at 1.064Ám. Various pumping configurations are being employed for pumping of the OPO device. The system has generated an output energy of 18 mJ in a pulse width of 25 ns giving a conversion efficiency of more than 35 per cent which is likely to be upgraded to 50 per cent in the near future.

The use of Laser Range Finders in fire control systems has greatly increased the accuracy and effectiveness of modern day weapon systems. The laser range data fed to the fire control computer causes a reduction in time to fire as well as increasing first round hit capabilities. Most of the Laser Range Finders present today are based on Nd:YAG/Nd:Glass Lasers operating at a wavelength of 1064/1054 nm, which is extremely harmful to the human eye. Due to the concern for safety and the need for realistic training tactics, the use of an Eye Safe Laser becomes highly desirable. When this is combined with the recent changes in modern combat scenarios, the need for eye safety becomes essential. The Eye Safe Lasers operating around 1540 nm has the highest permissible ocular exposures accepted by the ANSI 2.136.1-1993 Standard.