Direct solar illumination was used to pump a 5-mm-diameter 62-mm exposed-length rod of Er,Tm,Ho:YAG to achieve a quasi-cw lasing of the Ho ion at an average power of 12 W. The solar radiation was chopped at a 20% duty cycle to avoid overloading of the cooling system. The peak power output was more than 65 W during the chopper's open times. The slope efficiency is 3.8%, and the threshold input energy is approximately 100 W. The laser was operated for long times (up to hours) while maintaining its performance. This is, to our knowledge, the first directly solar-pumped laser operating at 77 K.
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