30 August 2017 Compact, highly efficient, single-frequency 25W, 2051nm Tm fiber-based MOPA for CO2 trace-gas laser space transmitter
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Abstract
Fibertek has developed and demonstrated an ideal high-power; low-risk; low-size, weight, and power (SWaP) 2051 nm laser design meeting the lidar requirements for satellite-based global measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2). The laser design provides a path to space for either a coherent lidar approach being developed by NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL)1,2 or an Integrated Path Differential Lidar (IPDA) approach developed by Harris Corp using radio frequency (RF) modulation and being flown as part of a NASA Earth Venture Suborbital Mission—NASA’s Atmospheric Carbon and Transport – America.3,4 The thulium (Tm) fiber laser amplifies a <500 kHz linewidth distributed feedback (DFB) laser up to 25 W average power in a polarization maintaining (PM) fiber. The design manages and suppresses all deleterious non-linear effects that can cause linewidth broadening or amplified spontaneous emission (ASE) and meets all lidar requirements. We believe the core laser components, architecture, and design margins can support a coherent or IPDA lidar 10-year space mission. With follow-on funding Fibertek can adapt an existing space-based Technology Readiness Level 6 (TRL-6), 20 W erbium fiber laser package for this Tm design and enable a near-term space mission with an electrical-to-optical (e-o) efficiency of <20%.

A cladding-pumped PM Tm fiber-based amplifier optimized for high efficiency and high-power operation at 2051 nm is presented. The two-stage amplifier has been demonstrated to achieve 25 W average power and <16 dB polarization extinction ratio (PER) out of a single-mode PM fiber using a <500 kHz linewidth JPL DFB laser5-7 and 43 dB gain. The power amplifier’s optical conversion efficiency is 53%. An internal efficiency of 58% is calculated after correcting for passive losses. The two-stage amplifier sustains its highly efficient operation for a temperature range of 5-40°C. The absence of stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) for the narrow linewidth amplification shows promise for further power scaling.
Conference Presentation
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Doruk Engin, Ti Chuang, Slava Litvinovitch, Mark Storm, "Compact, highly efficient, single-frequency 25W, 2051nm Tm fiber-based MOPA for CO2 trace-gas laser space transmitter", Proc. SPIE 10406, Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring 2017, 1040606 (30 August 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2276339; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2276339
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