Implementation of a Fiber Raman Amplifier for CW-IM Measurements of Atmospheric Oxygen at 1.26 Microns

Author: J.T. Dobler and T. Scott Zaccheo
December 6, 2011
Poster presentation
AGU Fall Meeting 2011

Jeremy T Dobler, James Nagel, Valery Temyanko, Scott Zaccheo, Edward V Browell, Susan A Kooi (2011) Implementation of a Fiber Raman Amplifier for CW-IM Measurements of Atmospheric Oxygen at 1.26 Microns. AGU Fall Meeting 2011.

Starting in February 2009 ITT, along with our partners at TIPD, AER and NASA LaRC, has been working to develop a fiber Raman amplifier at a wavelength near 1.26 microns, and evaluate its performance for measuring atmospheric O2 remotely. Two prototype amplifiers have been built and integrated into an existing continuous wave (CW) intensity modulated (IM) engineering development unit (EDU), developed at ITT for the measurement of CO2, in order to demonstrate the CW-IM measurement of atmospheric O2. The CO2 and O2 measurements are being evaluated for application to the active sensing of CO2 emissions over nights days and seasons (ASCENDS) mission described in the 2007 National Research Council’s Decadal Survey. The O2 measurement takes advantage of the fact that O2 is a well mixed gas to allow the determination of the CO2 dry air mixing ratio, which is the required product for the ASCENDS mission.
The Raman amplifier development has been focused on optimizing fiber designs to limit stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS), which is a nonlinear process typically limiting this type of amplifier from generating high power narrow linewidth outputs. This work has centered around two approaches, varying the fiber core diameter to broaden the Brillouin gain curve and designing transverse fiber doping profiles which serve to separate the acoustic and optical wave overlap responsible for SBS. The most recent amplifier is producing 1.5 Watts of average power while maintaining the narrow linewidth of the seed laser (~3 MHz).
The latest amplifier has been integrated with the CO2 EDU and initial ground testing was performed at the ITT ground test facility in New Haven, Indiana. The transmitter has subsequently been integrated into a NASA DC-8 rack and is currently being flown on the NASA DC-8. We discuss results from these ground and flight measurements in addition to the discussion of the amplifier design and our plans for scaling the design to space.