Abstract

To achieve the high brightness’s required for many laser applications it is necessary to phase lock multiple element fiber optical arrays. The intensity and hence the powers available from single-mode optical fibers are limited by optical surface damage or nonlinear optical effects. These limitations can be overcome by coherent beam combining of the output power from multiple optical fibers. We present the only technique for phase locking fiber arrays that doesn’t require a reference beam. There have been a number of research efforts addressing the need for very high brightness fiber laser sources by electronic phase locking[1,2,3,4,5]. The previous electronic phase locking techniques all required external reference beams and, also required one photodetector for each array element, while our method requires only a single photodetector for the entire array.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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