UBCs sodium lidar system generated its first laser
light on December 13, 2007. The image to the right shows the Sirah dye
laser undergoing final adjustments. Green 532 nm light, produced by a
Nd:YAG pump laser, enters from the left where it is redirected to the
two dye cells in the foreground (the orange tubes circulate the dye
through these cells). Between the cells is a tunable optical cavity.
The yellow 589 nm light produced by stimulated emission from the dye
can be seen in the foreground. The system produces pulses of laser
radiation with a duration of about 6 ns and a repetition rate of 50 Hz.
The mean output power was measured to be 5.8 W. This corresponds to an
impressive 20 MW of peak power.
The sodium lidar will be used in conjunction
with the 6-meter Large Zenith Telescope to measure time variability of
the Earth's mesospheric sodium layer. The resulting data will be
important for the design of the Thirty Meter Telescope adaptive optics
For more information please visit the LZT Lidar web site.