Extended cavity laser absorption spectroscopy

Patent Number: 10,288,482
Issued: 5/14/2019
Official Filing: View the Complete Patent
Abstract: Technologies for detecting absorption of electromagnetic radiation traveling through a measurement volume of interest are described herein. In a general embodiment, a laser is used to emit electromagnetic radiation through the measurement volume where absorption is desirably detected. An optical collector receives a portion of the radiation and directs a first fraction of the portion back to a gain medium of the laser, where the radiation is amplified and emitted again, and directs a second fraction to an optical sensor that can detect absorption in the measurement volume based upon attenuation of energy of the radiation. As the radiation feeds back to the gain medium and is emitted again, energy at attenuated wavelengths is amplified less than at other wavelengths. Thus, attenuation of energy of the radiation due to absorption in the measurement volume is cumulative, and relatively small absorptions are amplified, allowing smaller absorptions to be detected more easily.
Filed: 2/3/2016
Application Number: 15/14,852
Government Interests: STATEMENT OF GOVERNMENT INTEREST This invention was made with Government support under Contract No. DE-NA0003525 awarded by the United States Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration. The Government has certain rights in the invention.