Abstract

We describe an optical amplifier designed to amplify a spatially sampled component of an optical wavefront to kilowatt average power. The goal is means for implementing a strategy of spatially segmenting a large aperture wavefront, amplifying the individual segments, maintaining the phase coherence of the segments by active means, and imaging the resultant amplified coherent field. Applications of interest are the transmission of space solar power over multi-megameter distances, as to distant spacecraft, or to remote sites with no preexisting power grid.

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References

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  1. J. Mankins, "A Fresh Look at Space Solar Power: New Architectures, Concepts and Technologies," http://www.tier.net/sunsat/freshlook2.htm, October 6 (1997).
  2. J. Mankins and J. Howell, "An Executive Summary of Recent Space Solar Power Studies and Findings," NASA Space Solar Power Exploratory Research & Technology (SERT), April 23 (1999).
  3. R. L. Fork, C. V. Shank, and R. T. Yen, "Amplification of 70-fs optical pulses to gigawatt powers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 41, 223-225, (1982).
    [CrossRef]
  4. A. Giesen, H. H�gel, A. Voss, K. Wittig, U. Brauch, H. Opower, "Scalable Concept for Diode-Pumped High- Power Solid-State Lasers," Appl. Phys. B58, 365-72 (1994).
    [CrossRef]
  5. A. Giesen, private communication.
  6. Lisa J. Gamble, William M. Diffey, Spencer T. Cole, Richard L. Fork, and Darryl K. Jones, "Simultaneous measurement of group delay and transmission for a one dimensional photonic crystal," Opt. Express 5, 267- 72. http://www.opticsexpress.org/oearchive/source/14174.htm
    [PubMed]
  7. See, e.g., A.C.Bordonalli, C. Walton, and Alwyn J. Seeds, "High-Performance Phase Locking of Wide Bandwidth Semiconductor Lasers by Combined Use of Optical Injection Locking and Optical Phase-Lock Loop," J. Lightwave Technology 17, 328-42 (1999).
    [CrossRef]
  8. John L. Stensby, Phase-Locked Loops: Theory and Application, (CRC Press, New York 1997).
  9. Bruce R. Peters, private communication.
  10. Herwig Kogelnik, "On the Propagation of Gaussian Beams of Light Through Lenslike Media Including those with a Loss or Gain Variation," Appl. Opt. 4, 1562-69 (1965).
    [CrossRef]
  11. Lee Casperson and Amnon Yariv, "The Gaussian Mode in Optical Resonators with a Radial Gain Profile," Appl. Phys. Lett. 12, 355-357 (1968).
    [CrossRef]
  12. J. W. Goodman, Introduction to Fourier Optics, (McGraw-Hill, New York 1988).
  13. See, e.g., Micro-optics: elements, systems, and applications, H.P. Herzig, ed. (Taylor and Francis, London, 1997), especially, J. R. Leger, "Laser Beam Shaping".
  14. H�nninger, I. Johannsen, M. Moser, G. Zhang, A. Giesen, U. Keller, "Diode-pumped thin-disk Yb:YAG regenerative amplifier," Appl. Phys. B65, 423-26 (1997).
  15. U. Roth, Thomas Graf, E. Rochat, K. Haroud, J�rg E. Balmer, and Heinz P. Weber, "Saturation, gain, and Noise Properties of a Multipass Diode-Laser-Pumped Nd:YAG CW Amplifier," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 34, 1987-1991 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  16. John Nees, Subrat Biswal, Fr�d�ric Druon, J�r�me Faure, Mark Nantel, G�rard A. Mourou, Akihiko Nishimura, Hiroshi Takuma, Jiro Itatani, Jean-Christophe Chanteloup, and Clemens H�nninger, "Ensuring Compactness, Reliability, and Scalability for the Next Generation of High-Field Lasers," IEEE Selected Topics in Quant. Electron. 4, 376-384 (1998).
    [CrossRef]
  17. Andrew S. Keys, Spencer T. Cole, Richard L. Fork, "Open Multipass Amplifier Quicktime Movie," http://www.uah.edu/LSEG/amp-mov.htm, (1999).

Other (17)

J. Mankins, "A Fresh Look at Space Solar Power: New Architectures, Concepts and Technologies," http://www.tier.net/sunsat/freshlook2.htm, October 6 (1997).

J. Mankins and J. Howell, "An Executive Summary of Recent Space Solar Power Studies and Findings," NASA Space Solar Power Exploratory Research & Technology (SERT), April 23 (1999).

R. L. Fork, C. V. Shank, and R. T. Yen, "Amplification of 70-fs optical pulses to gigawatt powers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 41, 223-225, (1982).
[CrossRef]

A. Giesen, H. H�gel, A. Voss, K. Wittig, U. Brauch, H. Opower, "Scalable Concept for Diode-Pumped High- Power Solid-State Lasers," Appl. Phys. B58, 365-72 (1994).
[CrossRef]

A. Giesen, private communication.

Lisa J. Gamble, William M. Diffey, Spencer T. Cole, Richard L. Fork, and Darryl K. Jones, "Simultaneous measurement of group delay and transmission for a one dimensional photonic crystal," Opt. Express 5, 267- 72. http://www.opticsexpress.org/oearchive/source/14174.htm
[PubMed]

See, e.g., A.C.Bordonalli, C. Walton, and Alwyn J. Seeds, "High-Performance Phase Locking of Wide Bandwidth Semiconductor Lasers by Combined Use of Optical Injection Locking and Optical Phase-Lock Loop," J. Lightwave Technology 17, 328-42 (1999).
[CrossRef]

John L. Stensby, Phase-Locked Loops: Theory and Application, (CRC Press, New York 1997).

Bruce R. Peters, private communication.

Herwig Kogelnik, "On the Propagation of Gaussian Beams of Light Through Lenslike Media Including those with a Loss or Gain Variation," Appl. Opt. 4, 1562-69 (1965).
[CrossRef]

Lee Casperson and Amnon Yariv, "The Gaussian Mode in Optical Resonators with a Radial Gain Profile," Appl. Phys. Lett. 12, 355-357 (1968).
[CrossRef]

J. W. Goodman, Introduction to Fourier Optics, (McGraw-Hill, New York 1988).

See, e.g., Micro-optics: elements, systems, and applications, H.P. Herzig, ed. (Taylor and Francis, London, 1997), especially, J. R. Leger, "Laser Beam Shaping".

H�nninger, I. Johannsen, M. Moser, G. Zhang, A. Giesen, U. Keller, "Diode-pumped thin-disk Yb:YAG regenerative amplifier," Appl. Phys. B65, 423-26 (1997).

U. Roth, Thomas Graf, E. Rochat, K. Haroud, J�rg E. Balmer, and Heinz P. Weber, "Saturation, gain, and Noise Properties of a Multipass Diode-Laser-Pumped Nd:YAG CW Amplifier," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 34, 1987-1991 (1998).
[CrossRef]

John Nees, Subrat Biswal, Fr�d�ric Druon, J�r�me Faure, Mark Nantel, G�rard A. Mourou, Akihiko Nishimura, Hiroshi Takuma, Jiro Itatani, Jean-Christophe Chanteloup, and Clemens H�nninger, "Ensuring Compactness, Reliability, and Scalability for the Next Generation of High-Field Lasers," IEEE Selected Topics in Quant. Electron. 4, 376-384 (1998).
[CrossRef]

Andrew S. Keys, Spencer T. Cole, Richard L. Fork, "Open Multipass Amplifier Quicktime Movie," http://www.uah.edu/LSEG/amp-mov.htm, (1999).

Supplementary Material (1)

» Media 1: MOV (2438 KB)     

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Figures (5)

Fig.1.
Fig.1.

Cross section of the optical field as viewed looking along z toward the origin.

Figure 2.
Figure 2.

The first 16 paths of the amplified beam (red) are shown. The second 16 passes of the amplified beam, the reflectors for the pump beams, and the pump beams are not shown. The complete set of 36 locally configured reflecting regions (black, yellow, light blue, green) that determine the beam path are shown. The complete set of four active thin disk mirrors (deep blue), one pair on each the two semi-transparent (gray) concentric spherical construction surfaces, are shown. The view on the right is through the back of the semi-transparent construction surface (gray). We denote the array on the left L and the array on the right R.

Figure 3.
Figure 3.

Schematic of the beam routing for the first 16 amplified beam passes. The nine reflectors (1–9 shown in black) guide the first eight passes. These reflectors are located on the left array in Fig. 2. The two thin disks accessed during these 8 passes (a, b shown in deep blue) are physically located on the right array in Fig. 2. The next eight passes are guided by the nine reflectors on the right array in Fig. 2 (10–18 shown in green). These experience gain on reflections from the thin disk pair (c, d shown in deep blue) on the left array as viewed in Fig. 2. The linking steps 9–10 and 18–19 are indicated. The view is as seen looking along the system axis from right to left in Fig. 2.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Pump beam reflectors on the left array (purple L1–L8) and pump beam paths (green). The pump beam reflectors are larger, and the reflector packing density smaller, as compared to the amplified beam reflectors because of the greater divergence of the pump beam.

Fig.5.
Fig.5.

The figure is one frame from a QuickTime movie (2.4 MB). The movie shows the complete reflector system including two pump beams (green and yellow) and the probe (red) beams in 3-D perspective and in rotation. The multiple views from different perspectives provide a useful assist to understanding the beam routing strategy and the reflector configurations.

Equations (4)

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E s ( x , y ) = E so [ exp ( x 2 + y 2 ) ω o 2 ] * [ comb ( x X ) comb ( y Y ) ]
[ Rect ( x D ) Rect ( y D ) ] exp j ( x 2 + y 2 ) λ z o
E r ( x , y , z = z o ) = E ro exp [ ( π ω o ) 2 ( x 2 + y 2 ) ( λ z o ) 2 ] [ comb ( xX λ z o ) ]
[ comb ( yY λ z o ) ] * [ sinc ( xD λ z o ) sinc ( yD λ z o ) ]

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