Mid-Infrared Fiber Coupler for Multiband Infrared Countermeasure (IRCM) Lasers

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Navy
Contract: N68335-12-C-0086
Agency Tracking Number: N112-089-0827
Amount: $80,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Awards Year: 2012
Solitcitation Year: 2011
Solitcitation Topic Code: N112-089
Solitcitation Number: 2011.2
Small Business Information
IRFLex Corporation
300 Ringgold Industrial Parkway, Danville, VA, -
Duns: 623702557
Hubzone Owned: N
Woman Owned: N
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: N
Principal Investigator
 Francois Chenard
 President
 (434) 483-4304
 francois.chenard@irflex.com
Business Contact
 Francois Chenard
Title: President
Phone: (434) 483-4304
Email: francois.chenard@irflex.com
Research Institution
 Stub
Abstract
Compact high power (>100 W) mid-infrared (2-5 microns) lasers are highly desired for military applications, such as infrared counter measures (IRCM). Semiconductor lasers, such as quantum cascade lasers (QCLs), are efficient compact sources that operate in the desired wavelength range. However, these lasers are currently limited in output power (~5 W). To achieve high powers, the output of several lasers must be merged. Free-space optics can be used to combine the lasers. Such combining system can suffer from vibrational induced misalignment in military vehicles or aircrafts. Couplers that are fiber-based would be ideal devices, since they are compact, environmentally stable and lightweight. Unfortunately, available fiber couplers are made from silica glass, which absorbs light below 2 microns. Mid-infrared transmitting fibers, conversely, have been demonstrated to transmit light in wavelengths beyond 10 microns. These fibers have been used in IRCM systems with great success and can be used to develop power couplers in the desired wavelength band. The proposed work will demonstrate feasibility of developing innovative mid-infrared fused-fiber devices designed for concatenating laser wavelength between 2-5 microns. Such technology can be the platform for developing broadband couplers for mid-infrared lasers, such as quantum cascade lasers, to achieve high power outputs.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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