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Laser Know-how from Hannover at the Photonics West 2011

Date Announced: 19 Jan 2011

LZH will be showing off laser systems for space exploration and fiber-optic components at the show in San Francisco.

Hannover, January 19th, 2011 - The Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) is presenting laser technology suitable for use in space as well as the latest single and multi-mode fiber components at this year's Photonics West, from January 25th to 27th.

Each year, the world's photonics scene meets at the end of January in sunny California. This year, from January 22nd to 27th, the Moscone Center in San Francisco will host over 1200 exhibitors and more than 18,000 international visitors who will be coming to North America's most important fair for optics and photonics.

The Laser Development Department of the LZH is presenting both the results of current research projects and laser development services in the German Pavilion. The joint German stand in the North Hall will be packed with 50 exhibitors on 370 square meters, showing innovative technologies under the motto "Made in Germany".

Miniature Lightweight for Use in Space
The laser experts from Lower Saxony will be showing two laser systems for use in space. For the unmanned expedition to Mars within the EXOMARS-MISSION, LZH researchers are developing a unique, new laser system: a laser-diode-pumped, frequency quadrupled solid-state laser that emits radiation at 266 nm with a laser pulse energy of more than 250 µJ. The miniature laser head is part of a laser desorption mass spectrometer (LD-MS), which can identify and analyse organic material on the surface of Mars. This in turn can help prove possible traces of life on the red planet.

A second miniature solid-state laser system for use in Laser-Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) is a real flyweight. The extremely light and robust laser head weighs only 35 g, and is supplemented by highly specialized electronics. The laser system can be used for analysing the distribution of elements on the surface of planets. It works with a wavelength of 1053 nm, a pulse energy of > 1 mJ and a pulse repetition rate of < 50 Hz, and with a pulse length of 2 ns, beam qualities of (M²) < 1.3 can be achieved. Of course, the LIBS-laser system is also suitable for material analysis under extremely harsh conditions here on the planet earth.

Fiber Components for the highest Outputs
Researchers of the Fiber Optics Group at the LZH will be presenting a wave­length division multiplexer (WDM) with a maximum optical output of up to 26 Watts. This group is involved in the development, simulation and characterisation of passive and active fiber optical components within the framework of the Hannoverian Cluster of Excellency QUEST. Also, the researchers will be showing a wave­length division multiplexer with a commercially available single mode fiber SMF-28, which can couple the wavelengths 1575 nm and 1900 nm into a fiber.

Furthermore, extraordinary developments in the field of pump light couplers for high-energy fiber lasers will be presented. Up to now, for counterpropagated fiber configurations in which non-linear effects should be kept to a minimum, only pump and signal combiners with double-cladded fibers (250 µm diameter) which can combine and thus amplify the output of up to two different pump sources are available on the market. The LZH will demonstrate a high-power combiner at Photonics West 2011, which can be used for combining up to six sources. Because of good optical isolation, damage to the pump sources due to counterpropagated pumping can be disregarded.

The developed components can be considered to be an important cornerstone for the further development of fiber amplifiers with high output powers. The Laser Zentrum Hannover is at the Photonics West 2011 in the North Hall / booth 4601 (German Pavilion).

Source: Laser Zentrum Hannover


Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V.
Michael Botts
Hollerithallee 8
D-30419 Hannover
Tel.: +49 511 2788-151
Fax: +49 511 2788-100

E-mail: m.botts@lzh.de

Web Site: www.lzh.de

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