Fiber Laser Arrays
L-3 COMMUNICATIONS TITAN CORP SAN DIEGO CA
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Experiments have been conducted to investigate the feasibility and scalability of coherent laser output from an array of fiber lasers with strong intracavity coupling. A flexible, reconfigurable experimental apparatus has been modified and configured for these investigations. Measurements taken with this apparatus during this program showed that nonlinear optical interactions in long-cavity, coherently coupled fiber laser arrays do not destroy the high efficiency coherent combining. In fact, by spreading the output power among many modes, the nonlinear optical interactions offer a path to scaling to very large arrays of length-mismatched elements. Arrays of 2-5 amplifier elements coupled using the 2 2 fiber couplers were constructed with emphasis on linear cavity configurations. Stimulated Brillouin Scattering and Cross Mode Coupling are identified as the key nonlinear interactions and observed distinctly using cavities with a narrow spectral bandwidth. Intracavity etaloning due to parasitic loss points at FCAPC connectors is identified as a limiting performance feature of the experimental apparatus and it is recommended that all connectorized couplings be replaced by fusion splices for future work.
- Lasers and Masers