Robust Multifunction Laser
Small Business Information
40 Lake Bellevue, Ste. 100, Bellevue, WA, 98005
Jeffrey W. Pierce
AbstractThe high cost of near-to-mid infrared laser sources is problematic for many military applications, such as seekers where sources are short lived. Order-of-magnitude cost reductions are needed for 10-20 watt, 1-micron lasers. The proposed approach to reducing costs involves using novel manufacturing processes to greatly reduce parts count and assembly time, thus reducing cost. When applied to a diode-pumped Nd:YVO4 laser, the cost-reduction concepts lead to a planar resonator geometry with a side-pumped miniature slab gain medium. Gain is deposited close to the pumped face, and extraction is aided by total internal reflection of the circulating beam. Thermal-induced optical distortion is the primary concern with this geometry. Phase I will address optical distortion through construction of a two-bar-pumped Nd:YVO4 gain module. Optical distortions will be measured interferometrically. The results will then be applied to a resonator analysis, where the goal is to devise a method for compensating the distortion. A subsequent design of a scaled-up laser will be carried out, with the expected result being a definition for a low-cost 20-Watt laser.
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