Improved Laser Diodes for Space Laser Communications

Period of Performance: 03/26/2007 - 09/26/2007


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Nlight Photonics
5408 NE 88th Street, Building E
Vancouver, WA 98665
Principal Investigator


We propose to perform analytical and empirical studies of laser diode packages in regards to long-term reliability for use in the space environment. Our approach will be to develop a physics based understanding of the failure mechanisms observed due to operation in vacuum and radiation environments. We expect to be able to mitigate these failure mechanisms through nLight s laser diode design and fabrication capabilities. We anticipate that these failure mechanisms can be significantly reduced through the use of nLight s, diode and package designs, advanced materials and fabrication techniques, and our volume manufacturing capabilities. We have demonstrated, at 808nm, that we can meet the long-term goal of 150 watts per bar, and have further demonstrated very high efficiency (>65%) diode performance at these wavelengths. We anticipate our package designs can be made robust for use in the space environment to meet a 10,000-hour lifetime goal. This would enable high confidence deployment of our laser packages for space-based applications such as LIDAR, communications, and other programs requiring high power laser diode pumps.