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Proceedings Paper

Conductively cooled lasers for space-based applications
Author(s): Floyd E. Hovis; Nigel Martin; Ralph Burnham
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Paper Abstract

The design of the diode-pumped gain medium is critical to the successful deployment of lasers in space-based missions. We have developed a number of diode-pumped, conductively cooled zigzag slab designs for this application. These designs include both one-sided and two-side pumped and cooled designs. In one of the one-sided pumped and cooled amplifier designs we optimized the efficiency by maximizing the overlap between the extracting beam and the diode pumps at the total internal reflection (TIR) surface, a so-called “pump on bounce” approach. With this approach we achieved an electrical to optical efficiency from the amplifier of over 11% with an output beam M2 of approximately 3. By reducing the size of the extracting beam to reduce diffraction effects in the slab the beam quality could be improved to an M2 of 1.5 but the amplifier electrical to optical efficiency dropped to 6.7%. The other one-sided approach we have investigated is a near Brewster angle slab that incorporates beam propagation parallel to the slab axis and achieves good efficiency by a high overall volume fill factor. In a high beam quality oscillator (M2 = 1.2) we achieved over 6% electrical to optical efficiency with a Brewster angle head design. Modeling of the thermal effects in both approaches has been performed and will be reported on. The final design approach we have investigated is based on two-sided pumping and cooling. Both modeling and preliminary experimental results indicate that this approach will allow scaling to higher average powers while still maintaining beam qualities and extraction efficiencies at least as good as those obtained with the one-sided pumped and cooled approaches. From the results of these tests and analyses, we have developed a design for a space-qualifiable 1 J, 100 Hz laser operating at 1064 nm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2005
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5798, Spaceborne Sensors II, (19 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.607011
Show Author Affiliations
Floyd E. Hovis, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Nigel Martin, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)
Ralph Burnham, Fibertek, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5798:
Spaceborne Sensors II
Peter Tchoryk Jr.; Brian Holz, Editor(s)

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