High Energy Solid State Laser (SSL) for Ship Self-Defense

Award Information
Agency:
Department of Defense
Branch:
Navy
Amount:
$1,500,000.00
Award Year:
2004
Program:
SBIR
Phase:
Phase II
Contract:
N68936-04-C-0089
Agency Tracking Number:
N022-1462
Solicitation Year:
2002
Solicitation Topic Code:
N02-139
Solicitation Number:
2002.2
Small Business Information
COHERENT TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
135 S. Taylor Avenue, Louisville, CO, 80027
Hubzone Owned:
N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
N
Woman Owned:
N
Duns:
149375479
Principal Investigator
 Iain McKinnie
 Sr. Research Scientist
 (303) 604-2000
 Iain.McKinnie@ctilidar.com
Business Contact
 Timothy Carrig
Title: Director Research & Devel
Phone: (303) 604-2000
Email: Tim.Carrig@ctilidar.com
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
Ship defense requires 100 kW-1MW near diffraction-limited lasers with optimal wavelength and temporal format. Laser efficiency, beam quality, atmospheric transmission, thermal-blooming, and target interactions must be taken into account. Navy efforts to date have focused principally on the free electron laser (FEL) to fulfill this need due to the wide wavelength tuning range and projected high electrical-to-optical efficiency. FEL's will likely be implemented on next-generation electric ships, but for existing ships and for UAV's, the compact size of a solid-state laser makes it a very attractive option. 1 micron wavelength solid-state lasers are currently being pursued in many directed energy applications due to the maturity of this technology at high power. CW and high peak power solid-state lasers are each likely to be optimal for different targets and different thermomechanical interactions. With current solid-state laser technology, 1-5 kW average output power can be achieved in pulsed or CW mode at 1 micron, but typically with modest efficiency and >2x diffraction limited beam quality from a bulky system. CTI proposes a breakthrough laser architecture (validated in proof-of-concept demonstrations) to enable development of compact, power-scalable MOPA systems. The architecture implements a proprietary technology for achieving higher efficiencies than rod or slab architectures, with near diffraction-limited beam quality and minimal thermo-optic aberrations. Phase I conducted laser modeling and developed an engineering design for a kW-class MOPA based on this technology. Designs for > 100 kW power-scaled systems based on phased array of these MOPAs have been developed.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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