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3 September 2010 Optimal polishing methods for high-energy optical fibers
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Direct Optical Initiation (DOI), uses a moderate energy Q-switched Nd:YAG laser to shock initiate secondary explosives, via either a flyer plate or exploding metal foil. DOI offers significant performance and safety advantages over conventional electrical initiation. Optical fibers are used to transport the optical energy from the laser to the explosive device. Energy densities in the region of 35 J cm-2 are required for initiation, significantly above the damage threshold of typical optical fibers. Laser-induced damage is typically caused by laser absorption at the input face due to imperfections in the surface polishing. To successfully transmit energy densities for DOI, a high quality fiber end face finish is required. Fiber assemblies were prepared by C Technologies Inc, NJ, USA, with Innovaquartz FG365UEC optical fiber, using a variety of polishing methods, with both steel and zirconia ferrules. The quality of the fiber end faces was assessed using non-contact optical profilometry. The damage threshold for each polishing method was then determined using a Q-switched Nd:YAG laser and the optimal polishing method determined for each ferrule material. Significant performance differences between zirconia and steel ferrules were observed, and a physical cause of this difference is proposed.
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M. D. Bowden, S. L. Knowles, and M. C. Cheeseman "Optimal polishing methods for high-energy optical fibers", Proc. SPIE 7795, Optical Technologies for Arming, Safing, Fuzing, and Firing VI, 77950D (3 September 2010);

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