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A compact and high gain image amplifier in Yb-doped multi-core phosphate fiber

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Compact, high electrical plug-in efficiency, and high gain optical image amplifiers are of great interest in laser tracking and pointing of remote targets for space surveillance and control applications. More generally, phasepreserving image amplifiers are important for coherent light image processing. In this paper, we report an image amplifier based on Yb-doped phosphate fiber combining the high gain, low noise, and high efficiency of cladding pumped fiber amplifiers with the imaging properties of coherent fiber bundles. Because the cores may be made to support single mode amplification, the image amplifier preserves the phase of the input image. The 3 ⨉ 3 array structure consists of 9 active cores with 6μm diameter placed on a square grid with a center-to-center spacing of 14μm. The separation between the cores is designed to ensure no optical cross coupling between adjacent cores. High ytterbium doped phosphate fiber allows for high gain per unit length without the deleterious effects of ion clustering. The outer shape of the 9-core array pump waveguide is circular with 70 μm diameter. The outer diameter of the fiber is 120μm. Figure 1 shows a cross section of the 9-core cladding pumped image amplifying fiber.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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