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.: N082-159-0636
Firm: NP Photonics, Inc.
UA Science and Technology Park
9030 S. Rita Road, Suite #120
Tucson, Arizona 85747-9108
Contact: Jianfeng Wu
Phone: (520) 799-7498
Web Site: www.npphotonics.com
Abstract: This proposal is for the development of a new all fiber single mode Tm3+-doped two micron fiber laser with output power of 5 Kilowatts. This new fiber laser is retina safe, reducing the possibility of eye damage to the operators due to scattering and reflections. The laser wavelength is located in one of atmospheric transmission windows as well. This type of fiber laser can be used in the Navy's directed energy system for active defense. The lasers can provide an effective "Sea shield" against adversary ballistic or cruise missile attacks, and enable safer operation in the littoral environment. Research will be conducted to study the ultimate limit of continuous wave power for single-fiber, diffraction-limited eyesafe sources. Large core fibers with high order mode suppression will be designed and fabricated for both laser and amplifier fibers. Glass with optimized Tm2O3 doping concentration will be chosen to generate highly efficient laser output. A Master Oscillator Power Amplifier (MOPA) system will be designed to generate 5 KW two micron laser with wavelength control. Spectrum combining can be used for further power scaling up to 10s of KW level.
Benefits: The KW-level Tm3+-doped two micron fiber laser is an eye-safe and efficient high power laser source. It can be used in directed energy weapon systems for providing both active defense and offensive strike capabilities. The laser can also be used as a non-lethal weapon for the crowd control. This wavelength is desirable in material processing due to its high absorption in certain industrial materials, while still remaining eyesafe.