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12 March 2014 Coherent beam combining performance in harsh environment
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Coherent beam combining (CBC) is a promising solution for high power directed energy weapons. We investigate several particular issues for this application: First, we study the evolution of phase noise spectrum for increasing pump power in 100 W MOPFA. The main variations in the spectrum are located in the low frequency region corresponding to thermal transfer between the fiber core heated by the pump absorption and the fiber environment. The phase noise root mean square evolves linearly with the pump power. Noise spectrum is not shifted to higher frequencies. Second, we investigate the influence of fiber packaging and amplifier packaging on the phase noise and estimate the LOCSET controller bandwidth (BW) requirement in each case. Results show large variation of BW depending on the packaging, and not on the power. Then, we investigate the performances of CBC in harsh environment. For this purpose, we implement CBC of a 20-W fiber amplifier and a passive fiber using the LOCSET technique and simulate harsh environment by applying strong vibrations with a hammering drill on the optical table. The applied vibration spectrum ranges from 1 Hz to ~10 kHz with a standard deviation of 9 m/s2. CBC of the amplifier output and the passive fiber output is performed on a second table, isolated from vibrations. Measurements of the phase difference between both outputs and of the applied vibrations are simultaneously performed. Residual phase error of λ/40 (i.e. > 99 % CBC efficiency) is achieved under strong vibrations at 20 W. The -3 dB bandwidth of the LOCSET controller has been measured to be ~4.5 kHz. Results are in agreement with simulations.
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L. Lombard, G. Canat, A. Durecu, and P. Bourdon "Coherent beam combining performance in harsh environment", Proc. SPIE 8961, Fiber Lasers XI: Technology, Systems, and Applications, 896107 (12 March 2014);

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