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The optoelectronic swept-frequency laser and its applications in ranging, three-dimensional imaging, and coherent beam combining of chirped-seed amplifiers

Citation

Vasilyev, Arseny (2013) The optoelectronic swept-frequency laser and its applications in ranging, three-dimensional imaging, and coherent beam combining of chirped-seed amplifiers. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:06032013-060508409

Abstract

This thesis explores the design, construction, and applications of the optoelectronic swept-frequency laser (SFL). The optoelectronic SFL is a feedback loop designed around a swept-frequency (chirped) semiconductor laser (SCL) to control its instantaneous optical frequency, such that the chirp characteristics are determined solely by a reference electronic oscillator. The resultant system generates precisely controlled optical frequency sweeps. In particular, we focus on linear chirps because of their numerous applications. We demonstrate optoelectronic SFLs based on vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and distributed-feedback lasers (DFBs) at wavelengths of 1550 nm and 1060 nm. We develop an iterative bias current predistortion procedure that enables SFL operation at very high chirp rates, up to 10^16 Hz/sec. We describe commercialization efforts and implementation of the predistortion algorithm in a stand-alone embedded environment, undertaken as part of our collaboration with Telaris, Inc. We demonstrate frequency-modulated continuous-wave (FMCW) ranging and three-dimensional (3-D) imaging using a 1550 nm optoelectronic SFL.

We develop the technique of multiple source FMCW (MS-FMCW) reflectometry, in which the frequency sweeps of multiple SFLs are "stitched" together in order to increase the optical bandwidth, and hence improve the axial resolution, of an FMCW ranging measurement. We demonstrate computer-aided stitching of DFB and VCSEL sweeps at 1550 nm. We also develop and demonstrate hardware stitching, which enables MS-FMCW ranging without additional signal processing. The culmination of this work is the hardware stitching of four VCSELs at 1550 nm for a total optical bandwidth of 2 THz, and a free-space axial resolution of 75 microns.

We describe our work on the tomographic imaging camera (TomICam), a 3-D imaging system based on FMCW ranging that features non-mechanical acquisition of transverse pixels. Our approach uses a combination of electronically tuned optical sources and low-cost full-field detector arrays, completely eliminating the need for moving parts traditionally employed in 3-D imaging. We describe the basic TomICam principle, and demonstrate single-pixel TomICam ranging in a proof-of-concept experiment. We also discuss the application of compressive sensing (CS) to the TomICam platform, and perform a series of numerical simulations. These simulations show that tenfold compression is feasible in CS TomICam, which effectively improves the volume acquisition speed by a factor ten.

We develop chirped-wave phase-locking techniques, and apply them to coherent beam combining (CBC) of chirped-seed amplifiers (CSAs) in a master oscillator power amplifier configuration. The precise chirp linearity of the optoelectronic SFL enables non-mechanical compensation of optical delays using acousto-optic frequency shifters, and its high chirp rate simultaneously increases the stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) threshold of the active fiber. We characterize a 1550 nm chirped-seed amplifier coherent-combining system. We use a chirp rate of 5*10^14 Hz/sec to increase the amplifier SBS threshold threefold, when compared to a single-frequency seed. We demonstrate efficient phase-locking and electronic beam steering of two 3 W erbium-doped fiber amplifier channels, achieving temporal phase noise levels corresponding to interferometric fringe visibilities exceeding 98%.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Swept-frequency laser; frequency-modulated continuous-wave reflectometry; three-dimensional imaging; optical phase-locked loops, coherent beam combining.
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Yariv, Amnon
Thesis Committee:
  • Yariv, Amnon (chair)
  • Crosignani, Bruno
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
  • Schwab, Keith C.
  • Yang, Changhuei
Defense Date:20 May 2013
Non-Caltech Author Email:arsenyvasilyev (AT) gmail.com
Funders:
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Defense Advanced Research Projects AgencyUNSPECIFIED
U.S. Army Research OfficeUNSPECIFIED
High Energy Laser Joint Technology OfficeUNSPECIFIED
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:06032013-060508409
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechTHESIS:06032013-060508409
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:7820
Collection:CaltechTHESIS
Deposited By: Arseny Vasilyev
Deposited On:06 Jun 2013 22:24
Last Modified:10 Dec 2014 20:09

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