High-Power Polarization-Maintaining Raman Fiber Amplifier
MPBC is part of the “GuideStar Alliance,” contributing the Raman Fiber Amplifier and fiber laser pumps to the most powerful fiber laser guide star systems used in astronomy.
In this “next generation” Guide Star, narrow-band 1178-nm emission from a 25-mW diode laser is amplified to the 40-W level and then frequency doubled in a resonant cavity doubler to provide 22 W at the desired sodium resonance wavelength of 589 nm. The novel technology developed to achieve such high power amplification of an extremely narrow-band seed is the polarization-maintaining (PM) Raman fiber amplifier (RFA) developed by
MPB Communications Inc.
The Raman fiber amplifier technology was first developed and patented by the European Southern Observatory. MPB Communications Inc. and Toptica Photonics (Germany) licensed the technology and have collaborated to develop reliable, maintenance-free, ruggedized turn-key systems suitable for installation in the demanding environments typical of astronomical telescopes. Toptica provides the narrow-band seed and resonant doubling cavity for the system while MPB Communications provides the Raman fiber amplifier (RFA) subsystem.
Installation of the GuideStar include ESO’s 4 Laser Guide Star Facility (4LGSF) in Paranal, Chile; KECK Observatory, Mauna Kea, Hawai’i; Gemini North, Mauna Kea, Hawai’i; Gemini South, Cerro Pachón, Chile; Subaru, Mauna Kea, Hawai’i.
MPBC has continued its High Power RFA development and recently delivered a new 100 Watt RFA system to the European Southern Observatory. The new 100 W RFA was developed not only for next generation Guide Stars but also as a tool which assists in resolving the resolution of the atmospheric turbulence problem experienced in uplinks in Optical Ground Station installations.
MPBC has an expanded single frequency amplification portfolio and is able to offer virtually any wavelength where silica based fibers are transparent, supporting novel applications for the scientific and commercial research community.
For more information, see:
- Robert L. Johnson, Megan O. Byrd, Keith Wyman, Lee Kann, "Recent progress in sodium beacon development." SPIE Astronomical Telescopes + Instrumentation, December, 2020
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