We have measured, for the first time, the complete 1.7µm excited state absorption spectrum in erbium doped glasses. The spectrum is obtained by measuring the gain of an erbium doped waveguide in the 1400-1800 nm region. Using the measured spectra, we estimate the 1.5µm uniform upconversion rate by calculating the spectral overlap between the 1.5µm emission and 1.7µm ESA cross sections. The technique is applied to erbium-doped, ion-exchangeable silicate glasses, yielding upconversion constants in the range of 1-10 x 10^-18 cm^3 /s
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