High Energy Laser (HEL) Beam Combination

Period of Performance: 01/23/2007 - 01/23/2009

$750K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Aculight Corp.
22121 - 20th Avenue SE
Bothell, WA 98021
Principal Investigator

Abstract

Electrically driven High Energy Lasers (HELs) can perform target detection and illumination, missile defense, aircraft and area self-protection, and missions requiring precision engagement and/or graduated force/lethality. These lasers must provide at least 10 to 100 kW of output power with excellent beam quality, and have high electro-optical efficiency and output power to weight ratio, and have simple thermal management requirements. To meet these demanding requirements, Aculight proposes a new spectrally beam combined (SBC) fiber laser system. The approach allows spectral combination of many lower-power fiber lasers, into a single beam with excellent beam quality. The fiber lasers, and therefore the entire system, has much better efficiency, power-to-weight-ratio, and thermal manageability than conventional solid-state lasers. The proposed approach for the Phase II effort utilizes two gratings in an optical design that allows much broader line widths for each fiber laser, enabling much higher power per fiber and reduced system complexity.