The procedures and preliminary results of accelerated life tests performed within the framework of an evaluation program under the ESA contract are described. In order to calculate the activation energy and median lifetime and to investigate the drift behavior of optical parameters, a conventional three-temperature aging test at 30, 50, and 70 C is performed on 80 laser diodes in total, split into two subgroups operating under quaternary pulse position modulation (QPPM) and nonreturn-to-zero (NRZ) modulation at 16 Mbit/s with a PN-code length of (2 exp 7)-1. Measurements before and upon completion of the aging tests consist of P0/I curves, V/I characteristics, photo diode tracking ratios, spectra, mode hopping behaviors, far-field patterns, wave-front errors and astigmatisms, and linear polarization ratios.
This paper discusses the characteristics of a new concept involving high-power laser diode (HPLD) arrays which are able to emit up to 1000 mW of optical output power but which suffer from poor far-field pattern and poor optical quality, related to the gain guiding mechanism used in such devices. Methods are proposed for improving the optical quality of HPLDs. These include the use of apertured AM scheme for HPLDs and the use of a graded-index lens and a stripe mirror to stabilize the HPLD. A HPLD optical transmitter is designed which will have the capability of operating the HPLD in the 180 deg phase alternating mode under modulation.