Panoramic Optical Power Amplifier In Yb-doped Multi-core Phosphate-based Optical Fiber

Period of Performance: 04/29/2005 - 07/29/2007

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

NP Photonics, Inc.
9030 South Rita Road Suite 120
Tucson, AZ 85747
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Technical abstract: This project focuses on the development of compact, high electrical plug-in efficiency, and high gain panoramic optical amplifiers suitable for image amplification. Laser tracking and pointing of remote targets for space/air surveillance and control applications require a suitable image amplifier covering a wide field of view to improve signal to noise in image detection, leading to longer target range capability and/or stronger immunity to atmospheric disturbance. Our approach centers on a new phosphate glass and fiber technology that enables much higher ytterbium doping than previously possible - resulting in high gain per unit length and short fiber lengths (~10 cm). NP Photonics pre-form and fiber drawing technology makes possible the fabrication of two-dimensional arrays of doped cores embedded in a pump cladding layer -where each core represents a pixel in the image amplifier. We expect to produce an active array with many dozens of pixels arranged in a two-dimensional pattern with each pixel capable of high gain (>17 dB), low noise, and large acceptance angle (>8 degrees). The amplifier will have high electrical efficiency (>40%) when pumped with commercially available 915 nm or 975 nm multimode diodes.