For remote sensing spectrometers, wavelength-scanned laser emissions are used to capture the absorption spectrum of targets to perform measurement of soil and/or gas. Previous techniques to accomplish these measurements have involved combining multiple fixed-wavelength lasers to detect a single species, limiting the scope and effectiveness of the instruments.
NASA Goddard developed a faster and widely tunable monolithic optical parametric oscillator for use in laser spectrometers. This technology provides a continuously tunable spectrum across any target, adding flexibility to the overall instrument. In addition, only one nonlinear crystal and oscillator pump source is used, greatly simplifying the spectrometer system. This technology provides a simpler and faster tunable laser without losing alignment.