Available Technology

A System for Controlling High Current Laser Diode Arrays

The density of a state-of-the-art high power laser diode array is such that a single array, which is comprised of up to 50 diode tiles, has a frontal area of only about 400 square cm and requires pulse current of up to 1000 Amperes per tile to operate. Current technology, available in the industry, is based on very large rack mounted equipment with limited capabilities. If one were to use current technology to drive high power laser diode arrays, the power conditioning equipment (PCE) would be over 5 cubic feet in volume. The power conditioning equipment required to drive such a laser diode array is 15x larger than the actual array. A second problem arises when one considers that with existing PCE being so much larger than the load that the load and the PCE now be separated by long cables that do not lend themselves to high current pulse operation.
As diode pumped solid state lasers (DPSSL) become more common there is a need to drive these pump diode arrays in a compact, efficient and cost-effective manner. The LLNL system for controlling high current laser diode arrays is an integrated system for meeting the needs of driving laser diode arrays in a DPSSL.
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