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Simplified design of optical elements for filled-aperture coherent beam combination

: Aleshire, C.; Steinkopff, A.; Jauregui, C.; Klenke, A.; Tünnermann, A.; Limpert, J.

Volltext ()

Optics Express 28 (2020), Nr.14, S.21035-21045
ISSN: 1094-4087
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer IOF ()
coatings; amplifier system; amplitude variations; coherent beam combinations; manufacturing complexity

A simplification strategy for segmented mirror splitters (SMS) used as beam combiners is presented. These devices are useful for compact beam division and the combination of linear and 2-D arrays. However, the standard design requires unique thin-film coating sections for each input beam; thus, potential for scaling to high beam-counts is limited due to manufacturing complexity. Taking advantage of the relative insensitivity of the beam combination process to amplitude variations, numerical techniques are used to optimize highly simplified designs with only one, two or three unique coatings. It is demonstrated that with correctly chosen coating reflectivities, the simplified optics are capable of high combination efficiency for several tens of beams. The performance of these optics as beam splitters in multicore fiber amplifier systems is analyzed, and inhomogeneous power distribution of the simplified designs is noted as a potential source of combining loss in such systems. These simplified designs may facilitate further scaling of filled-aperture coherently combined systems in linear array or 2-D array formats.