Space Qualifiable Laser Technology
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
High average power lasers are necessary for space-based missions such as long-range sensing and directed energy weapons. Such long-range sensors typically require kW-class power with low intensity noise, diffraction limited beam quality, and high efficiency. In order to meet these and other requirements, CTI is pursuing an innovative laser technology to kW-class average power with new levels of spatial coherence, high electrical-to-optical efficiency, pulsed or CW operation, and controllable spectral and temporal coherence for direct/coherent detection transceivers. The primary challenges for space qualification of this and other solid-state laser technology have been reducing prime power consumption and mass while maintaining performance and reliability. The proposed technology development breaks new ground in thermal management and optical systems design by building upon recently demonstrated breakthrough laser architecture. The architecture utilizes 2-D optical transport and 1-D thermal transport coupled to next-generation innovative adaptations of compact, high performance 2-phase cooling. Phase I delivers primary and alternate engineering designs with a comprehensive risk burn-down plan for a space-based kW-class laser system. Phase 2 will deliver a sub-scale demonstration unit providing functional evidence of the technology for space-qualification. CTI's extensive flight qualified laser experience and the heritage of our teammate Swales Aerospace in space-qualified thermal design/payload packaging, brings significant leverage to the program.
Small Business Information at Submission:
COHERENT TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
135 S. Taylor Avenue Louisville, CO 80027
Number of Employees: