Dayton OH September 05, 2013 – Optonicus has been awarded SBIR Phase I funding from the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to address the need for high powered fiber laser array pointing technologies useable in high energy laser systems with precision beaming of optical power. Optonicus is making the critical and challenging transition from the current 1.0 kW-1.3 kW power-per-fiber systems towards a new generation of coherently combinable systems with optical power level per fiber on the order of 3.0 kW.
In the initial phase, Optonicus will develop a detailed concept design for a robust fiber laser array pointing (FLAP) beam director for use in severe operating conditions. This FLAP cluster will include multiple-kW/fiber-class performance and optimized SWaP factor, active compensation of mechanical jitter and conformal window-induced quasi-static phase aberrations. The design will also feature reduction of unabsorbed optical pump power, development of an advanced cooling system, fiber-array laser head designs with high optical fill factor, and a modular system that is easy to repair or replace.
The new Optonicus FLAP beam director will enable exceptional scalability of fiber arrays at very high power levels without adverse thermal effects in adverse atmospheric environments. Commercial applications include high power laser welding, cutting and materials processing.