US military awards Nufern contracts for fiber laser amplifiers

East Granby, CT--Nufern has been awarded multiple contracts on competitively-bid programs to build a total of 46 compact, >1 KW fiber amplifiers in support of multiple government laser efforts. These amplifiers, to be delivered later this year, will be used in the development and testing of coherent optical phased array and spectrally combined array technologies that enable scalable laser weapons that are much lighter and more compact than existing high-power chemical laser systems. They could perform laser radar, target designation, tactical, and self-protection tasks.

Coherently combinable single-mode fiber-based systems can provide overall laser efficiencies greater than 35 percent, while maintaining near-diffraction-limited beam quality. To produce a weapons-grade system, however, their output power must be increased without introducing additional optical phase noise and modal instability.

It is envisioned that a coherent array of 10s of subapertures, each driven with a multi-KW coherently combinable fiber laser amplifier, would enable approximately 100 KW class laser systems for precision strikes against both ground and air targets. This technology will enable the practical use of high-power lasers on a broad spectrum of military platforms without degradation of their original missions.

Nufern is a manufacturer of fiber laser and amplifier modules and specialty optical fibers serving industrial, military/aerospace, medical and telecom applications. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Rofin-Sinar Technologies (Plymouth, MI, and Hamburg, Germany).

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