Blue-Green Dye Lasers for Underwater Illumination


  • Theodore G. Pavlopoulos

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      THEODORE G. PAVLOPOULOS, SC.D. is currently working as a scientist for the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center, San Diego. He received a diploma in physics (equiv. M.S.)in 1951 and a Sc.D. degree in 1953 in physical chemistry from the University of Göttingen (Germany). After several postdoctoral fellowships and working for industry, he started at his present position in 1965. During this time, most of his research centered on spectroscopy of organic compounds and laser dyes, laser dye structure, and dye lasers. He has published over 60 papers in refereed scientific journals. Since 1975 he has been a member of the New York Academy of Sciences.


Advances in underwater viewing can be expected by employing powerful blue-green dye lasers as illumination sources. For minimum transmission losses, the spectral characteristics of the seawater must coincide with the laser action spectral region. Propagation of light through the ocean environment is discussed. Presently available bluegreen laser systems are briefly reviewed. It was concluded that a commercially available dye laser, operating at the seawater transmission window, provides the best near termsolution. Such a dye laser is capable of delivering up to about 3 joules per pulse at a rate of 10 to 50 Hz. A synchronized video camera takes pictures of the illuminated area. In the future, a powerful blue-green illumination source can be obtained by operating the dye laser with improved (high-efficiency) laser dyes.