Military, industrial, and medical applications have expressed interest in using ~1550nm laser diodes as efficient laser sources for reduced eye safety concerns, especially where free-space propagation is concerned. In addition, covert military applications, including pointers and illuminators, benefit from the spectral insensitivity of common sensor types to ~1.5um wavelengths. While more efficient than other sources, high-power broad-area laser diodes can sometimes require complex packaging and beam shaping/combining optics in order to meet requirements for brightness, uniformity, stray light, and environmental insensitivity. This paper will highlight and discuss a range of developments exploring laser diode components near 1.5um for free-space military applications, including broadarea high-power illuminators and highly-collimated pointers. Options for tailored beam conditioning and performance results will also be presented.
Nick Moor, John Goings, Prabhu Thiagarajan, and Brian Caliva, "Direct-diode laser illumination and pointing at eye-safe SWIR wavelengths," Proc. SPIE 10192, Laser Technology for Defense and Security XIII, 101920H (Presented at SPIE Defense + Security: April 11, 2017; Published: 1 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2262721.
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