Efficient Optical Fiber Beam Homogenizer
Navy SBIR FY2018.1

Sol No.: Navy SBIR FY2018.1
Topic No.: N181-011
Topic Title: Efficient Optical Fiber Beam Homogenizer
Proposal No.: N181-011-0299
Firm: TIPD, L.L.C.
1430 N. 6th Ave.
Tucson, Arizona 85705
Contact: Valery Temyanko
Phone: (520) 626-7934
Abstract: The output of the traditional optics fibers produce a Gaussian-shaped output due to the internal mode structure. Moreover, the output from traditional optical fibers contains spatial non-uniformities that are undesirable for certain applications. Many advanced applications require a â?oflat-topâ?? intensity distribution of the laser beam as it produces uniform illumination and minimizes speckle. The Navy is seeking lightweight mid-infrared beam homogenizers capable to convert radiation from a multimode fiber to a flat-top beam. Among all-fiber techniques that use multimode fibers, flat top beam generation has only been demonstrated by fiber core shaping (fibers with e.g. square or rectangular cores). However the intensity profile of the beam maintains the same shape as the core and the rectangular or square beam shapes are difficult to efficiently integrate into existing circular-fiber based laser systems, resulting in significant loss of light. TIPD proposes to develop compact all-fiber low-loss circular-shaped homogenizer capable to operating across the 0.9-6 AŠm spectral range. TIPDâ?Ts homogenizers are based on novel infrared glass fibers with an advanced microstructured core design providing excellent mode mixing and a flat top beam output. The Phase I program will demonstrate the feasibility of developing such a novel all-fiber homogenizer for various Navy applications.
Benefits: Fiber-optic cables can be used as a flexible, effective means for delivering high-power infrared (IR) laser radiation from a central high-power laser source and distributing it to dispersed locations on an aircraft platform. Such beam delivery systems are highly desirable and critical for current and future DoD aviation applications. The power carrying and beam uniformity characteristics that make this technology interesting to the Navy are also of interest in a number of other applications. UAVâ?Ts are another potential market for the fiber homogenizer due to the stringent SWAP requirements. The militaryâ?Ts UAV programs continue to grow as new lighter UAVs with improved range are replacing the first generation UAVs. Next generation UAV would also benefit for a distributed laser system require fiber homogenizers. The fiber homogenizer will have applications in the military and civilian remote sensing markets depending on the price and reliability. In the remote sensing market, the top hat configuration could provide improved imaging â?oat the edgesâ?? allowing less overlap and reduced stitching artifacts. Depending to on the price and performance of the fiber homogenizer, the improved uniformity could improve the performance and reduce the cost of imaging, environmental sensing, and additive manufacturing applications.