Abstract

A new technique for measuring the output power from a cw edge-coupled unstable resonator has been developed and applied to a cw DF laser. An internal-cavity calorimeter was used that permits measurement of output power with a variable rectangular mode geometry while containing the radiation inside the resonator. The variable aperture calorimeter absorbing scraper (vacas) device consists of an absorbing copper plate calorimeter assembly, which replaces the 45° output coupling mirror of a conventional edge-coupled unstable cavity. A rectangular hole in the plate of variable width w and height h defines a rectangular mode of variable width Mw and height Mh within the geometric optics approximation, where M is the magnification. Two important applications of vacas are (1) the determination of the optimum mode geometry for a cw diffusion-type chemical laser where there is significant variation in gain across the unstable resonator mode and (2) the determination of the power tradeoff between mode width and the number of folds in a folded unstable resonator configuration.

© 1976 Optical Society of America

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