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Continuous Wave UV Laser for ASE


OBJECTIVE: To develop a semiconductor laser system in the near-UV (UVA) that exceeds three (3) watts of power with diffraction limited performance. The laser shall operate without the use of cryogenically cooled components. DESCRIPTION: The Army is interested in laser sources in the near-UV (UVA) for applications such as Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) and other applications for helicopter survivability. Conventional techniques for near-UV wavelength generation using non-linear components have limited efficiency and require large pump sources. Semiconductor laser diodes are attractive because of the potential for small size and high efficiency. The Army requires such devices as illuminating sources used, for example, in conjunction with a pointer tracker to locate small objects that may be in the path of a helicopter in flight. The near-UV laser output shall exceed three (3) watts continuous with diffraction limited performance. The laser can be designed with multiple laser chips combined to achieve the required power. For thermal management, cryogenic cooling is NOT an option; rather it is acceptable to use thermo electrically cooled or convection cooling. Packaging of the laser chips should consider minimizing the size, weight, and power (SWaP) consumption given the design proposed. The ultimate goal is to have the total weight of the optical components to be less than 5 pounds. The objective is to have a laser design that is directly driven but a laser pumped laser would also be considered. US Government contractors may be used in the evaluation of proposals. PHASE I: Identify semiconductor materials suitable for near-UV (UVA) laser emission. Identify design methodologies and critical design parameters for a laser system that could be used on rotary wing platforms that exceeds three (3) watts of power with diffraction limited performance. Develop an initial system design and concept that achieves the requirements and capabilities. The result from Phase I will be a feasibility study for this system. The contractor shall deliver a detailed report on the analysis, results, conclusion, and a feasibility plan to address this effort. PHASE II: Build a prototype laser system for government testing and evaluation. The prototype may be designed with a single chip to validate and mature the system design but eventually a complete laser system that addresses the requirements is required. Evaluate key elements of the system in a laboratory environment. The contractor shall deliver a detailed report of its efforts and its results. PHASE III: DUAL USE COMMERCIALIZATION: Military Application: Transition into current aircraft protection, threat warning, and battlefield awareness systems. Commercial use may include small light weight wire detection LIDAR, detection of trace elements using LIDAR backscatter both for Homeland Security applications. Other commercial applications may be use of the UVA laser for etching and writing to disk, e.g. Blu-Ray discs. REFERENCES: 1. Hamilton, C.E., Doughty, C.B., Roper, P.M., Mead, R.D. & Tidwell, S.C.; (1998). All solid-state, single-frequency 193-nm laser system for deep-UV metrology. Lasers and Electro-Optics Society Annual Meeting LEOS IEEE 2. Shu-Di Pan, Ke-Zhen Han, Xiu-Wei Fan, Jie Liu & Jing-Liang He (2007). Efficient fourth harmonic UV generation of passively Q-switched Nd:GdVO4/Cr4+:YAG lasers. Optics & Laser Technology, Vol 39, Issue 5, 1030-1032 3. Shverdin, M.Y., Anderson, S.G., Betts, S.M., Gibson, D.J., Hartemann, F.V., Hernandez, J.E., Johnson, M., Jovanovic, I., McNabb, D.P., Messerly, M., Pruet, J., Tremaine, A.M., Siders, C. W., & Barty, C.P.J. (2007). Fiber-Based, Spatially and Temporally Shaped Picosecond UV Laser for Advanced RF Gun Applications. Proceedings of Particle Accelerator Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico 4. Kojima, T., Konno, S., Fujikawa, S., Yasui, K., Yoshizawa, K., Mori, Y., Sasaki, T., Tanaka, M. & Okada, Y. (2000). 20-W ultraviolet-beam generation by fourth-harmonic generation of an all-solid-state laser. Optics Letters, Vol. 25, Issue 1, pp. 58-60 5. Continuous Wave UV Laser for ASE - Abbreviated Requirements Document, 2012, PM Aircraft Survivability Equipment
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