Esquivias Moscardo, Ignacio and Consoli Barone, Antonio and Krakowski, M. and Faugeron, M. and Kochem, G. and Traub, M. and Barbero, J. and Fiadino, P. and Ai, Xiao and Rarity, John and Quatrevalet, Mathieu and Ehret, Gerhard
High-brightness all semiconductor laser at 1.57 µm for space-borne lidar measurements of atmospheric carbon dioxide: device design and analysis of requirements.
"Proceedings of SPIE, Laser Sources and Applications II", v. 9135
The availability of suitable laser sources is one of the main challenges in future space missions for accurate measurement of atmospheric CO2. The main objective of the European project BRITESPACE is to demonstrate the feasibility of an all-semiconductor laser source to be used as a space-borne laser transmitter in an Integrated Path Differential Absorption (IPDA) lidar system. We present here the proposed transmitter and system architectures, the initial device design and the
results of the simulations performed in order to estimate the source requirements in terms of power, beam quality, and spectral properties to achieve the required measurement accuracy. The laser transmitter is based on two InGaAsP/InP monolithic Master Oscillator Power Amplifiers (MOPAs), providing the ON and OFF wavelengths close to the selected absorption line around 1.57 µm. Each MOPA consists of a frequency stabilized Distributed Feedback (DFB) master
oscillator, a modulator section, and a tapered semiconductor amplifier optimized to maximize the optical output power. The design of the space-compliant laser module includes the beam forming optics and the thermoelectric coolers.The proposed system replaces the conventional pulsed source with a modulated continuous wave source using the Random Modulation-Continuous Wave (RM-CW) approach, allowing the designed semiconductor MOPA to be applicable in such applications. The system requirements for obtaining a CO2 retrieval accuracy of 1 ppmv and a spatial resolution of less than 10 meters have been defined. Envelope estimated of the returns indicate that the average power needed is of a few watts and that the main noise source is the ambient noise.