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19 February 2009 Characterization of a coherently coupled 2x2 W fiber amplifier array
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Experimental investigations concerning the operation characteristics of a coherent fiber laser MOPA array are presented. The experimental set up consists of a single frequency fiber coupled 35 mW DBR diode laser at 1063 nm as master oscillator and two polarization maintaining two stage 2 W Yb doped commercial fiber amplifiers. Phase control is accomplished by fiber coupled acousto-optic frequency shifters prior to the amplifiers and an opto-electric phase locked loop operating at 100 MHz. Phase measurement at the amplifier output is achieved by a combination of a free space and fiberoptic interferometer in combination with RF photodiodes. A heterodyne signal of the amplifier output signal is generated with respect to a reference signal derived from the master oscillator and works as input signal for the phase control. Phase coupling of the array is demonstrated and the degree of coherence is determined from the contrast of the far field diffraction pattern of the output beam as well as from analysis of the RF photodiode signals. The characteristics of the phase control and phase stability are investigated and residual phase disturbances resulting from thermal and acoustic effects as well as depolarization are identified. Achievable beam quality as a function of fill factor is compared to theoretical computations. Finally, perspectives concerning a coherent 4x15 W MOPA array with three stage amplifying systems are outlined.
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R. Nowack, R. Bähnisch, P. Mahnke, J. Speiser, and A. Giesen "Characterization of a coherently coupled 2x2 W fiber amplifier array", Proc. SPIE 7195, Fiber Lasers VI: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 719528 (19 February 2009);

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