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Semiconductor Lasers

Above: Over the past century, human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. To better understand the global carbon cycle’s effect on climate change, MDL is developing high-power lasers that will enable uninterrupted, all-season measurements at high latitudes and at night — a capability presently unavailable in current monitoring models.

World’s First High-Power 2.05 µm Fiber-Coupled Seed Semiconductor Laser Will Help Measure Greenhouse Gases from Space

Observing the global carbon cycle plays an important role in our understating of climate change. Active (lidar) remote sensing of atmospheric CO2 concentration would enable uninterrupted, all-season measurements at high latitudes and at night that are presently unavailable with the current passive measurement schemes. In support, MDL has demonstrated fiber-coupled distributed-feedback (DFB) semiconductor lasers with record high output power (more than 20 mW) operating near the 2.051 µm wavelength — an important milestone in advancing airborne lidar systems for CO2 detection. These modules will enable, for the first time, the use of semiconductor diode lasers in injection seeding applications of high-power lidar transmitters for 3D wind measurement and CO2 detection at the preferred wavelength of 2.0 µm and 2.05 µm, respectively.

In the hermetically sealed package, optical elements with anti-reflection coating layers with a single-stage optical isolator are used to suppress back-reflection into the laser cavity.

With the recent progress in the development of optical fiber amplifiers operating near 2.05 µm wavelength, MDL’s high-power fiber-coupled semiconductor laser will be an enabling technology for a myriad of other emerging applications in this wavelength range.