Space Qualifiable Laser Technology
Agency / Branch:
DOD / MDA
The MDA and other elements of the Department of Defense (DoD) have multiple applications for high power laser sources, including deployment in space where power, size, weight and refueling logistics are issues. Applications include acquisition and identification of missiles or other threats, tracking and destruction of such threats, decoy rejection, and defeat of enemy electro-optic sensors. High Energy Lasers (HEL) offer the potential to maintain asymmetric technological edge over adversaries for the foreseeable future. Conventional diode pumped solid-state lasers for this application suffer from single point failures, severe thermal induced distortion, modest efficiency and severe cooling requirements. Fiber lasers offer solutions to all of these limitations, but must use beam combination to reach mission average power levels. Aculight proposes the merger of a new (non coherent) beam combining approach and advanced large mode area (LMA) fiber laser technology as a power-scaleable solution to meet the demanding MDA requirements. Ongoing work at Aculight has shown that higher average power and reduced nonlinear parasitics are an advantage obtained from large mode area (LMA) fibers in beam combined approaches. Recent advances in LMA fibers offer an additional level of improvement in tailoring the fiber characteristics for system optimization. This Phase I work will characterize and demonstrate the potential of these fibers in an architecture with scalability to the 10-100 kW level.
Small Business Information at Submission:
11805 North Creek Parkway S., Suite 113 Bothell, WA 98011
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