Scientific Results

MILD: a laser altimeter transmitter for a Mercury planetary orbiter

Year: 2008

Authors: Ciofini M., Favilla E., Lapucci A., Sani E., Capanni A., Tommasi L.

Autors Affiliation: CNR – Istituto Nazionale di Ottica Applicata, largo E. Fermi 6, 50125 Firenze, Italy;
Selex Galileo S.p.A.

Abstract: We report on the design and preliminary development of a micro laser (MILD) breadboard (BB). The laser source is designed to be used as the transmitter unit of a laser altimeter for planetary investigations. The reference scenario is the ESA BepiColombo mission to Mercury (presently scheduled to be launched in 2012) but possible applications to minor
solar system bodies may be included. In order to fulfil the laser source requirements for this kind of application we adopted a master-oscillator-power-amplifier (MOPA) scheme. Analysis of the MO efficiency, pulse duration and beam characterisation in different resonator configurations is described together with the preliminary PA performance on a ±10 ◦C temperature range.

Journal/Review: APPLIED PHYSICS B-LASERS AND OPTICS

Volume: 92 (3)      Pages from: 431  to: 438

KeyWords: Aneroid altimeters; Interplanetary flight; Mercury (metal); Meteorological instruments; Radio altimeters; Solar energy; Solar system; Transmitters, Bepicolombo mission; Characterisation; Laser altimeters; Laser sources; Mercury Planetary Orbiter; Micro lasers; Pulse duration; Temperature ranges, Lasers
DOI: 10.1007/s00340-008-3131-2

Citations: 2
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