A superstructured fiber-grating-based mode selection filter for a single-frequency fiber laser eliminates all free-space components, and makes the laser truly all-fiber. A ring cavity provides for stable operations in both frequency and power. There is no alignment or realignment required. After the fibers and components are spliced together and packaged, there is no need for specially trained technicians for operation or maintenance. It can be integrated with other modules, such as telescope systems, without extra optical alignment due to the flexibility of the optical fiber.

The filter features a narrow line width of 1 kHz and side mode suppression ratio of 65 dB. It provides a high-quality laser for lidar in terms of coherence length and signal-to-noise ratio, which is 20 dB higher than solid-state or microchip lasers.

This concept is useful in material processing, medical equipment, biomedical instrumentation, and optical communications. The pulse-shaping fiber laser can be directly used in space, airborne, and satellite applications including lidar, remote sensing, illuminators, and phase-array antenna systems.

This work was done by Jian Liu of Goddard Space Flight Center. For further information, contact the Goddard Innovative Partnerships Office at (301) 286-5810. GSC-15600-1

Photonics Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the September, 2010 issue of Photonics Tech Briefs Magazine.

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