Solid-state Raman laser for MMT sodium guide star

W. Thomas Roberts, James T. Murray, William L. Austin, Richard C. Powell, James Roger P. Angel

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Generation of sodium guide stars for adaptive optics requires very precise control of the frequency and bandwidth of the laser to maximize the brightness of the generated guide star. The ruggedness, efficiency and ease of use of a solid state system has great potential for improving the reliability and power of the laser guide star over the dye laser system currently used. The dearth of solid state transitions at the precise wavelength required for exciting resonance scattering in sodium drives us toward Raman shifting to downshift a nearby solid-state transition line tuned to work with the Raman-shifting material. The system being developed for the 6.5 meter multiple mirror telescope (MMT) takes two approaches to creating the sodium guide star: one uses YGAG to maximize the Raman-shifted output at the sodium D2 resonance. The second approach is to thermally tune the output of YAG to reach the appropriate wavelength for Raman shifting to 589 nm. Initial results from YGAG indicate that it will not be a suitable material for creating the sodium guide star laser. Initial results from the YGAG laser is presented, along with a discussion of the potential of the technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-355
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1998
EventAdaptive Optical System Technologies - Kona, HI, United States
Duration: Mar 23 1998Mar 23 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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