Eyesafer Fiber Laser Technology for Shipboard Defense
Navy SBIR FY2008.2

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2008.2
Topic No.: N08-159
Topic Title: Eyesafer Fiber Laser Technology for Shipboard Defense
Proposal No.: N082-159-0490
Firm: Q Peak, Inc.
135 South Road
Bedford, Massachusetts 01730
Contact: Peter Moulton
Phone: (781) 275-9535
Web Site: www.qpeak.com
Abstract: Q-Peak has recently developed "eyesafer" high-power, efficient, thulium (Tm)-doped, 2050-nm-wavelength silica fiber (Tm:fiber) lasers that have the potential to scale up to the power levels needed for shipboard defense. The longer wavelength cannot pass through to the retina and hence presents a greatly reduced eye hazard. Requirements for laser beam quality depend on the nature of the threat, but the most challenging threats demand near-diffraction-limited beams. In the work proposed here, we will investigate the fundamental limits to power, with diffraction-limited beam quality, from a single Tm:fiber laser. This will determine the system design architecture for high-power directed-energy systems, particularly how many individual fiber lasers are needed for coherent beam-combined systems.
Benefits: The most significant benefit of the work to be done is advancing the technology of eyesafer directed-energy systems. In terms of other applications, a high-power, frequency Tm:silica fiber laser could be employed in eyesafe, coherent lidar/ladar systems, which have uses for Government, scientific and commercial customers in areas such as wind-sensing, target ID and tracking, and vibration sensing.