Embodiments of the present invention relate to a laser system and method for the optical generation of ultrasound at a remote target. This involves generating a pump laser beam with a diode-pumped fiber laser. The diode pumped fiber laser is fiber-coupled with an optical fiber, either passive or diode pumped, to a generation laser head. The generation laser head generates a generation laser beam from the pump laser beam and directs the generation laser beam to the surface of the remote target. The interaction between generation laser beam and the surface of the remote target results in ultrasonic displacements at the remote target. These ultrasonic displacements may be sampled in order to assess and inspect the remote target.
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