15 February 2012 Fiber laser beam combining and power scaling progress: Air Force Research Laboratory Laser Division
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Abstract
Numerous achievements have been made recently by researchers in the areas of fiber laser beam combining and power scaling. Industry has demonstrated multi-kW power from a single fiber amplifier, and a US national laboratory has coherently combined eight fiber amplifiers totaling 4 kW. This paper will survey the recent literature and then focus on fiber laser results from the Laser Division, Directed Energy Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). Progress has been made in the power scaling of narrow-linewidth fiber amplifiers, and we are transitioning lessons learned from PCF power scaling into monolithic architectures. SBS suppression has been achieved using a variety of techniques to lower the Brillioun gain, including acoustically tailored fiber, laser gain competition resulting from multitone seeding and inducing a longitudinal thermal gradient. We recently demonstrated a 32-channel coherent beam combination result using AFRL's phaselocking technique and are focused on exploring the limitations of this technique including linewidth broadening, kW-induced phase nonlinearities and auto-tuning methods for large channel counts. Additionally, we have recently refurbished our High Energy Laser Joint Technology Office-sponsored 16-amplifier fiber testbed to meet strict PER, spatial drift, power stability and beam quality requirements.
© (2012) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
T. J. Wagner, T. J. Wagner, "Fiber laser beam combining and power scaling progress: Air Force Research Laboratory Laser Division", Proc. SPIE 8237, Fiber Lasers IX: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 823718 (15 February 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.912154; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.912154
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