7 March 2014 Automated alignment of fast-axis collimator lenses for high-power diode laser bars
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The active alignment of fast axis collimator lenses (FAC) is the most challenging part in the manufacturing process of optical systems based on high power diode laser bars. This is due to the high positioning accuracy in up to 5 degrees of freedom and the complex relations between FAC misalignment and properties of the resulting power density distribution. In this paper an experimental approach for FAC alignment automation is presented. The alignment algorithm is derived from a beam propagation model based on wave optics. The model delivers explicit relations between FAC misalignment and properties of the distorted power density distribution in the near and far field. The model allows to calculate the FAC misalignments and to correct them in one or multiple steps. The alignment algorithm is tested with a demonstrator system. The demonstrator contains an optical system which allows a real time analysis of the near field and far field power distribution of individual emitters. For the tests two different types of FAC lenses and high power diode laser bars are used. The FAC lenses are prealigned within a range of ±50 μm and 0.5 degree around the suitable position. During the automated alignment process the translational and rotational remaining misalignment and the properties of the far field power density distribution are recorded. The experimental results are evaluated regarding reliability and flexibility of the presented FAC alignment algorithm.
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Thomas Westphalen, Thomas Westphalen, Stefan Hengesbach, Stefan Hengesbach, Carlo Holly, Carlo Holly, Martin Traub, Martin Traub, Dieter Hoffmann, Dieter Hoffmann, "Automated alignment of fast-axis collimator lenses for high-power diode laser bars", Proc. SPIE 8965, High-Power Diode Laser Technology and Applications XII, 89650V (7 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2041245; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2041245

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