One of the primary challenges of the Laser Inertial Fusion Engine (LIFE) project is the cost and availability of the laser
diode arrays needed to pump the solid-state laser gain media in the system. Current projections indicate that the arrays
need to be available for approximately one cent per Watt of output power, which is one to two orders of magnitude
cheaper than currently available.
This work focuses on potential manufacturing approaches to meet the projected specifications of the LIFE project.
Special attention will be paid to requirements related to power density (25 kW/cm2), bar pitch (150 - 400 microns),
output wavelength (87x), and fast-axis divergence (+/- 4 degrees). A summary of the supply limitations and cost
ramifications of each requirement is presented. Also discussed are potential supply chain limitations that are anticipated
as a result of the immense size of the LIFE project.