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Title: Qualification of quantum cascade lasers for space environments

Laser-based instruments are enabling a new generation of scientific instruments for space environments such as those used in the exploration of Mars. The lasers must be robust and able to withstand the harsh environment of space, including radiation exposure. Quantum cascade lasers (QCLs), which are semiconductor lasers that emit in the infrared spectral region, offer the potential for the development of novel laser-based instruments for space applications. The performance of QCLs after radiation exposure, however, has not been reported. We report on work to quantify the performance of QCLs after exposure to two different radiation sources, 64 MeV protons and Cobalt-60 gamma rays, at radiation levels likely to be encountered during a typical space flight mission. No significant degradation in threshold current or slope efficiency is observed for any of the seven Fabry-Perot QCLs that are tested.
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Resource Relation:
Conference: Sensors for Extreme Harsh Environments, May 5, 2014, Baltimore, Maryland. Proceedings of SPIE, 9113:Paper No. 91130Q
DG Senesky and S Dekate; SPIE , Bellingham, WA, United States(US).
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
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Country of Publication:
United States
quantum cascade lasers; space environments; proton radiation; gamma radiation