3D Diode-Cross-Coupled Tapered Lasers for Kilowatt-Class, Chip-Scale, Laser Diode Phased Arrays

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-07-C-0065
Agency Tracking Number: 06SB2-0278
Amount: $98,058.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2006
Solicitation Year: 2006
Solicitation Topic Code: SB062-013
Solicitation Number: 2006.2
Small Business Information
NLIGHT PHOTONICS
5408 NE 88th Street, Bldg E, Vancouver, WA, 98665
DUNS: 799811646
HUBZone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Paul Crump
 Program Manager
 (360) 713-5161
 paul.crump@nlight.net
Business Contact
 David Gustafson
Title: Mgr Advanced Technology P
Phone: (360) 566-4471
Email: david.gustafson@nlight.net
Research Institution
N/A
Abstract
In this proposal, nLight and their collaborator, Eric Johnson, of CREOL, seek to address the main limitations in generating phased arrays by using very high power single mode tapered devices that are phase locked via long “coupling” lasers. The individual diodes would be phase aligned by careful control of their drive current – this would fine-tune the phase to bring it into alignment. The coupling laser makes use of a approach pioneered by Eric Johnson’s group – using second order gratings buried inside a diode laser to vertically cross-couple through free space to a second diode laser placed above. The extension here is to use high power tapered single mode devices as the “slave lasers” in amplifier configuration, with a low power, very long cavity laser above them as a master oscillator in a 3-D configuration. Using high power single mode devices (here we target 15-W per emitter) means relatively few emitters are needed to deliver a 10-kW module – just 700 of them, corresponding to two 25 bar stacks of 200-W bars. Using a laser as the master oscillator means the locking signal is automatically phase coherent over long distances. Finally, the small number of devices required means that phasing the individual tapers together by controlling the current is a practical reality.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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