Article

Advantages Of CO2 Laser Rangefinders And Designators

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Abstract

The advantages of CO2 laser rangefinders and designators over devices using neodymium dope yttrium aluminum garnet are listed. They include wavelength compatibility with 8-12u FLIRs, less attenuation in haze and fog, and better penetration of smoke and obscurants. The characteristics of a typical CO2 TEA laser rangefinder are given, showing a wavelength of 10.6 microns, a peak power output of 500 kW, and a pulse width of 50 nsec. It is pointed out that a CO2 laser rangefinder will be incorporated in the XM-1 tank and that further uses of CO2 devices for rangefinding are expected in the future. It is also noted that RF excited CO2 lasers are unlikely to compete with pulsed TEA lasers but may find use in CO2 CW heterodyne rangefinders if these devices are developed as competitors to pulsed rangefinders.

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