Abstract

We demonstrate a simplified approach toward active polarization control in coherently combined laser architectures. By leveraging optical phase dithers applied by a phase controller, polarization error signals are generated for an entire laser array from a single beam sample of the combined output, enabling closed-loop polarization locking of non-polarization-maintaining fibers. The concept is shown to be compatible with both hill-climbing and synchronous multidither phase control methods. Simultaneous phase locking and polarization locking was demonstrated for a five-fiber array with >99% phasing efficiency and >20dB polarization extinction ratio.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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