Date of Award:

2014

Document Type:

Thesis

Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)

Department:

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Advisor/Chair:

Doran Baker

Abstract

The design of a precision current controller for quantum cascade lasers (QCLs) enables QCLs to be used for calibrating instruments in space-borne applications. This current controller design will enable constant wave (CW) or pulsed mode operation of QCL devices as calibration sources in a space environment. Any differences in the temperature between components of the current controller can result in an erroneous current through the QCL. This design will use previously demonstrated techniques from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to minimize the effects of temperature changes on the desired current levels. A mathematical model is used to calculate what performance levels can be expected, and if the board can operate with a desired precision level of 0.1% of the desired power output of the QCL. This mathematical model shows the capability to control to the desired 0.1% output power stability with a change in the boards temperature of ±10◦C.