Coherent Beam Combining of Mid-IR Lasers

Period of Performance: 06/07/2013 - 06/04/2014

$360K

Phase 2 STTR

Recipient Firm

Pranalytica, Inc.
1101 Colorado Avenue Array
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of California Los Angeles
11000 Kinross Avenue, Suite 211
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Institution POC

Abstract

Many military applications require efficient optical sources producing several to hundred watts in continuous-wave (CW) or quasi-continuous-wave (QCW) operation at room temperature (RT) in the MWIR (3-5 micron) and LWIR (8-12 micron) regions. While QCLs have become the sources of choice in these spectral regions, the only realistic option to attain hundred-watt power level with good beam quality is to coherently combine multiple QCL emitters into a single output beam. In Phase I, we have performed analysis of QCL arrays, and showed that this approach is well suited for necessary power scaling. We have developed a design, which should produce 10 W of output power at RT. In Phase II, we will develop the processing required for the fabrication of such arrays, fabricate and characterize prototype devices. We will design, fabricate, and characterize a second generation of devices with higher output power of several tens of watts. Furthermore, we will develop a plan for extending the performance of these arrays up to 100 W. Our approach, leveraging advanced material growth and fabrication, will result in robust, compact, and cost-effective monolithic QCL beam combining solutions exceeding the requirements of this solicitation, and provide the military with the required laser sources.