Intra-Cavity Optical Amplifier (ICOA)

Period of Performance: 09/30/2013 - 12/30/2015

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Advanced Systems & Technologies, Inc.
12H Mauchly Array
Irvine, CA 92618
Principal Investigator

Abstract

ABSTRACT: This proposal details the plan for developing a prototype model of the Intra-cavity Coherent Optical Amplifier (ICOA). Wide Field of View (WFOV) high-gain amplifiers are critical components for various electro-optical systems. A fully developed ICOA will expand the use of coherent imaging systems for acquisition, tracking, identification and characterization of distant objects. The proposed ICOA architecture will provide a high level of gain (up to 50 dB) with a field of view in excess of 50 mrad with a SWaP design. The proposed approach should resolve issues associated with intra-cavity wave-front aberrations caused by a thermal load on the gain medium and super-luminescence effects in a high-gain amplifier. A phase conjugation technique will be used to compensate for residual wave-front aberrations; typical for intra-cavity amplification schemes introduced by thermal load, and other source perturbations. In Phase I of this program, AS&T performed a detailed analysis and feasibility study of the proposed ICOA technique and by assembling and testing its laboratory breadboard was able to demonstrate the concept operability. In Phase II we will perform system design, integration and construction. The program will culminate with a field demonstration of ICOA performance in a relevant environment. BENEFIT: The proposed system will allow coherent amplification of low-intensity complex-form wavefronts, which are urgently, required by image detection and amplification systems, for example: Military applications including high-power lasers and remote target acquisition, and tracking at low-levels of illumination. Commercial applications include processes associated with low-intensity signal detection for dynamical visualization that are often used in medicine and biology.