Recently, ARL's efforts have been very important to the success of DARPA in the development of a 21-element optical phased array system. In this project, ARL developed and provided low-power and high-power fiber subapertures, as well as other key components including control electronics and operating software. The demonstration of the adaptive phase fiber laser coherent array system is part of the DARPA "Excalibur" project. The overall goal of the project is to develop optical phased array coherence technology to promote the development of scalable laser weapons.
Fiber laser array systems have undergone more than a decade of research and testing, including phase locking and beam combining functions for multi-channel (7-19) fiber laser sub-aperture arrays. ARL is applying for a patent for the system and the system. Combined with phase lock and compensation mechanisms, physical interference such as system vibration and atmospheric turbulence will not affect the operation of the laser beam. The fiber laser array system uses the internal interference feedback of the multi-laser beam tail to replace the conventional beam splitter sensor placed in the laser beam output channel. This makes the total energy provided by the system the same as that of a single-single-aperture laser. The center has multiple times the energy density. This architecture allows the system to be significantly reduced in size, weight, and cost over existing laser weapon systems, while still providing the same power.
An innovative high-speed control algorithm called "Stochastic Parallel Gradient Descent" is used to control the beam and desired phase, compensate for atmospheric turbulence, and maximize laser irradiance. ARL is also applying for a patent for this.
This system will bring huge benefits to soldiers on the battlefield. The system architecture will also make the laser weapon system more effective, more lethal, more mobile, and easier to deploy. Therefore, the US Army can use it as a directed energy laser weapon system and widely apply it to ground and air. All platforms. In addition, the array's output beam can be used as a countermeasure system to quickly and accurately destroy incoming threats such as missiles and reconnaissance. More fiber laser cutting machines
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