This approach minimizes development costs due to its flexibility, while reducing overall product cost by using similar building blocks for a variety of products and utilizing a high grade of automation. The modules can be operated with industrial grade water, lowering overall system and maintenance cost.
Stackable macro coolers are used as the smallest building block of the system. Each cooler can hold up to five diode laser bars. Micro optical components, collimating the beam, are mounted directly to the cooler. All optical assembly steps are fully automated.
Initially, the beams from all laser bars propagate in the same direction. Key to the concept is an arrangement of deflectors, which re-arrange the beams into a 2-D array of the desired shape and high fill factor. Standard multiplexing techniques like polarization- or wavelengths-multiplexing have been implemented as well.
A variety of fiber coupled modules ranging from a few hundred watts of optical output power to multiple kilowatts of power, as well as customized laser spot geometries like uniform line sources, have been realized.