Development of Simultaneous High Pulse Energy and High Average Power OPCPA Laser at SWIR Wavelengths
The successful results of the Phase I work will be utilized by implementing an optimized ultra-short pulse Optical Parametric Chirped Pulse Amplifier at an eye safer Short Wave InfraRed (SWIR) wavelength. The system will be designed with a goal of 1 kHz repetition rate and will ultimately reach a pulse energy of 100 mJ in two OPA stages. The OPA process was chosen due to its inherent 100% efficiency, i.e., all input laser energy is either instantaneously transferred to the signal and idler beams or stays in the pump. A number of novel techniques demonstrated in Phase I will increase the energy transfer into the signal and idler beams to over 90%. These same techniques will reduce the small absorption of the idler beam in the OPA crystals to less than 1 Watt each at the full 100 Watt average output power. Combined with efficiency improvements in other aspects of the laser system these techniques will reduce the required pump energy by 75%. The use of pulsed DPSS technology and other novel techniques in the pump laser will reduce the thermal load on the gain modules to a sufficiently small level to allow for 1 kHz operation.
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Voss Scientific, LLC
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