High Operating Temperature Quantum Cascade Laser Diodes for Free Space Optical Communication
Small Business Information
1801 Maple Avenue, Evanston, IL, 60201
Abstract"This proposal will demonstrate the feasibility and design of quantum cascade lasers for uncooled free-space communication in the mid- and far-infrared (3 < l < 14 um). The primary advantage of the quantum cascade technology is its proven high temperature(>425 K) operation and multiwatt room temperature peak output power. Removing the cooling subsystems necessary for other mid-infrared diode lasers significantly reduces the overall power consumption and system size. However, long range, high bit ratecommunications in adverse weather conditions requires a higher power source at higher duty cycles than is currently available. In Phase I, determination of laser design and package requirements suitable for free-space communication will be investigated.This program will also demonstrate a room temperature, high average power (>10 mW), high duty cycle (>50 %) QCL laser and a compact (< 500 cm3), uncooled, high peak power (>1 W) laser pointer as a basis for a mid- or far-infrared transceiver. Current freespace optical systems are hindered by scattering elements (such as fog or smoke) and scintillation effects. Both act to shorten or completely sever a free space optical link. As predicted by scattering and scintillation theory, a mid- or far-infraredlaser source should have superior transmission through a non-ideal atmosphere as compared to a commercially available near-infrared source. This significant performance boost is especially
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