High-speed wavelength-swept lasers capable of providing wide frequency chirp and flexible temporal waveforms could
enable numerous advanced functionalities for defense and security applications. Powered by high spectral intensity at
rapid sweep rates across a wide wavelength range in each of the 1060nm, 1300nm, and 1550nm spectral windows, these
swept-laser systems have demonstrated real-time monitoring and superior signal-to-noise ratio measurements in optical
frequency domain imaging, fiber-optic sensor arrays, and near-IR spectroscopy. These same capabilities show
promising potentials in laser radar and remote sensing applications.
The core of the high-speed swept laser incorporates a semiconductor gain module and a high-performance fiber Fabry-
Perot tunable filter (FFP-TF) to provide rapid wavelength scanning operations. This unique design embodies the
collective advantages of the semiconductor amplifier's broad gain-bandwidth with direct modulation capability, and the
FFP-TF's wide tuning ranges (>200nm), high finesse (1000 to 10,000), low-loss (<3dB), and fast scan rates reaching
20KHz. As a result, the laser can sweep beyond 100nm in 25μsec, output a scanning peak power near mW level, and
exhibit excellent peak signal-to-spontaneous-emission ratio >80dB in static mode. When configured as a seed laser
followed by post amplification, the swept spectrum and power can be optimized for Doppler ranging and remote sensing
applications. Furthermore, when combined with a dispersive element, the wavelength sweep can be converted into high-speed
and wide-angle spatial scanning without moving parts.