Solid-State Fiber Laser

What Is It?

Solid-State Fiber Laser provides Incoherent Fiber Lasers for short asymmetric threat engagement and Coherent Combined Fiber Lasers for long-range aircraft self protection.

How Does It Work?

A “fiber” laser is a laser in which the active gain medium is an optical fiber doped with rare earth elements such as erbium, ytterbium, neodymium, dysprosium, praseodymium and thulium. Light is kept in the “core” of the optical fiber by total internal reflection. This causes the fiber to act as a waveguide. Fibers that support many propagation paths or transverse modes are called multi-mode fibers (MMF). Fibers that support only a single mode are called single mode fibers (SMF). MMFs generally have a large diameter core, and they are used for short-distance communication links or for applications where high power must be transmitted. Single mode fibers are used for most communication links longer than 200 meters.

What Will It Accomplish?

The improved efficiency, reduction in weight, volume, prime power, etc., defines a fiber laser as the best pathway to provide Naval aviation and the Navy with a 100 kW laser weapon.

The Navy’s future fiber laser weapon system is being designed to be game changing and fit into aircraft pods. The capability of having speed-of-light delivery for a wide range of missions and threats is a key element of a future aircraft layered defense.

Understanding the physics for modeling and simulation is necessary for effective testing of smaller and lighter high power solid state lasers.

This technology is scalable, has high optical quality and has a highly compact modular design for high efficiency.

This revolutionary technology allows for multiple payoffs for Naval aviation. The ability for aircraft self protection, time critical strike, precision engagements, graduated lethality, low collateral damage, and asymmetric threat engagement allow for significant increases in warfighter capability.

Research Opportunities

  • Solid-state fiber laser weapon
  • Incoherent fiber laser
  • Coherent combined fiber laser
  • Beam control
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Power scaling

Point of Contact

Quentin Saulter

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