Chirped femtosecond laser pulses are generated by adjusting the grating separation of a pulse compressor in a chirped-pulse amplification laser and characterized using a single-shot frequency-resolved optical grating technique. Laser chirp parameters in time and frequency domains, such as group delay dispersion and linear chirp coefficient, are analyzed with respect to grating detuning. It is observed that the linear chirp coefficient rapidly increases without significant pulse broadening around the zero detuning, necessitating precise chirp characterization. The pulse broadening is slightly asymmetric to the grating detuning because of residual third- and fourth-order dispersion. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.