Engineers at Sandia National Lab in Albuquerque, N.M., needed an optical component for a camera on NASA’s space shuttle Discovery. They found a solution with the LT-1110 20-watt laser diode from Lasertel Inc. in Tucson, Ariz.
Sandia technicians used the part in their Laser Dynamic Range Imager (LDRI), a camera attached to the shuttle’s 50-foot robotic arm used by the astronauts to conduct close-up, in-flight inspections of the shuttle thermal protection system including the reinforced carbon-carbon (RCC) wing leading edge.
Sandia’s LDRI is composed of a modulated infrared laser illuminator using a 20-watt Lasertel laser diode and an infrared camera receiver. The LDRI helps provide two- or three-dimensional video imagery data to the crew to inspect Discovery’s wings and nose cap, and to engineers on the ground to determine the health of Discovery’s heat shield.
The LT-1110 is a CS-mounted diode- laser bar that delivers 20 watts of power at wavelengths of 808 and 915 nanometers. Typical emitted beam divergence is 35 degrees in the fast axis and 10 degrees in the slow axis (FWHM), making the lasers useful for both commercial and solid-state pumping applications.
Making the part were technicians at Lasertel Inc., a subsidiary of Presstek Inc. in Hudson, N.H., that produces high-power semiconductor lasers for the graphics, defense, industrial, and medical industries. For more information, see www.lasertel.com.