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Proceedings Paper

Fiber optic cables for transmission of high-power laser pulses
Author(s): W. Joe Thomes Jr.; Melanie N. Ott; Richard F. Chuska; Robert C. Switzer; Diana E. Blair
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Paper Abstract

High power pulsed lasers are commonly deployed in harsh environments, like space flight and military missions, for a variety of systems such as LIDAR, optical communications over long distances, or optical firing of explosives. Fiber coupling of the laser pulse from the laser to where it is needed can often save size, reduce weight, and lead to a more robust and reliable system. Typical fiber optic termination procedures are not sufficient for injection of these high power laser pulses without catastrophic damage to the fiber endface. In the current study, we will review the causes of fiber damage during high power injection and discuss methods used to avoid these issues to permit fiber use with high reliability in these applications. A brief review of the design considerations for high peak power laser pulse injection will be presented to familiarize the audience with all the areas that need to be considered during the design phase. The majority of this paper focuses on the proper fiber polishing methods for high power use with an emphasis on laser polishing of the fibers. Results from recently build fibers will be shown to demonstrate the techniques.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 September 2011
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8164, Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments V, 81640F (13 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.895964
Show Author Affiliations
W. Joe Thomes Jr., NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Melanie N. Ott, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard F. Chuska, MEI Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Robert C. Switzer, MEI Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Diana E. Blair, MEI Technologies, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8164:
Nanophotonics and Macrophotonics for Space Environments V
Edward W. Taylor; David A. Cardimona, Editor(s)

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