To advance the science of high power fiber lasers, in-house drawn specialty optical fibers are investigated. Ongoing research involves the fabrication and testing of Yb- and Tm-doped fibers at 1μm and 2μm. Using specialized fiber and pump mixing geometries, dopant profiles and system configurations, the performance of our in-house drawn active fibers has been examined. Results on a highly multi-mode, high average power pulsed Raman fiber amplifier pumped by a thin disc laser are presented. The Raman fiber is a large mode-area graded index fiber, also drawn in house. Finally, the development of capabilities for kilometer range propagation experiments of kW-level CW and TW-level pulsed lasers at the TISTEF laser range is reported.
Raman fiber lasers have seen increased interest recently, due to their ability to access difficult wavelength ranges without the use of specially doped materials and to avoid some of the obstacles of very high power rare-earth doped fiber lasers, including modal instability and photodarkening. Though most modern works in Raman fiber lasers are based on fiber laser or direct diode pumping, solid state lasers have been developed with extremely high average powers and are readily available commercially.<p> </p> This work explores a very short fiber length high average power multi-mode Raman laser system. The custom 200um graded index fiber is pumped by 30ns pulses with average powers up to 750W and pulse energies up to 7.5mJ at 1030nm, by a solid state commercial laser system. Pump-only and seeded configurations are examined. In the seeded case, higher order mode activation is demonstrated by detuning the single mode seed to preferentially feed energy to the less confined modes.<p> </p> 5 orders of Stokes are demonstrated, ranging from 1078nm to 1350 nm. Beam enhancement is observed by qualitative measurement of minimum beam waist, and average powers up to 70W are achieved at an energy of 1.4mJ.
This presentation will describe the design and construction status of a new mobile high-energy femtosecond laser systems producing 500 mJ, 100 fs pulses at 10 Hz. This facility is built into a shipping container and includes a cleanroom housing the laser system, a separate section for the beam director optics with a retractable roof, and the environmental control equipment necessary to maintain stable operation. The laser system includes several innovations to improve the utility of the system for “in field” experiments. For example, this system utilizes a fiber laser oscillator and a monolithic chirped Bragg grating stretcher to improve system robustness/size and employs software to enable remote monitoring and system control. Uniquely, this facility incorporates a precision motion-controlled gimbal altitude-azimuth mount with a coudé path to enable aiming of the beam over a wide field of view. In addition to providing the ability to precisely aim at multiple targets, it is also possible to coordinate the beam with separate tracking/diagnostic sensing equipment as well as other laser systems. This mobile platform will be deployed at the Townes Institute Science and Technology Experimental Facility (TISTEF) located at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida, to utilize the 1-km secured laser propagation range and the wide array of meteorological instrumentation for atmospheric and turbulence characterization. This will provide significant new data on the propagation of high peak power ultrashort laser pulses and detailed information on the atmospheric conditions in a coastal semi-tropical environment.
Pulse stretchers are critical components in chirped pulse amplification (CPA) and optical parametric CPA (OPCPA) laser systems. In CPA systems, pulse stretching and compression is typical accomplished using bulk diffraction gratings; however integrated devices such volume or fiber Bragg gratings can provide similar optical performance with significantly smaller footprint and simplified alignment. In this work, we discuss the use of such integrated devices to stretch a 100 fs pulse to 400 ps with customized third order dispersion for use in a multi-TW Ti:Sapphire system as well as integrated optics to control the pulse duration in pump lasers for OPCPA systems.