This fall, Lasertel sponsored the 2017 Directed Energy Day in Alexandria, VA. This high-level private summit brought top military leaders to discuss the emerging technology needs in directed energy.
Craig Henry joined Lasertel to work with medical companies seeking a performance advantage through high power laser diodes. Lasertel offered Craig the opportunity to bring his 23 years of experience in lasers into his daily work with customers. Outside of work, his interests are motorcycling, hiking and target shooting.
We sat down with Craig to learn more about his background and the challenges and trends in today’s market.
In military applications, the reliability of a laser diode can be a literal matter of life-or-death. Functionality is critical regardless of setting. Laser diode modules that create first light within high-energy lasers, such as those used within advanced targeting systems and directed energy weapons, face particularly brutal requirements. The environment within such lasers is often more extreme than the exterior environment. For military-grade laser diodes, there are four primary environmental considerations:
Lasertel has been awarded a Phase I contract to participate in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Efficient Ultra-Compact Laser Integrated Devices program. The project will focus on the development of lightweight laser diode pump sources for fiber lasers used in directed energy applications.
Lasertel's award-winning megawatt-class laser diode pump modules are the "laser within a laser" for the High Repetition Rate Advanced Petawatt Laser System (HAPLS) at Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL). The same modular laser diode technology proven in LLNL’s HAPLS laser is suited to many other high-power directed energy applications that demand improved power output.
The high-energy diode pump modules provide "first light" for systems such as the HAPLS, meaning that it is the Lasertel laser diodes that first convert electrical energy to optical energy; the HAPLS then amplifies that optical energy to petawatt levels via stimulated emission in a gain medium. The unique scalability of Lasertel's T6 diode arrays makes megawatt class pump modules possible. Every design decision, from the individual diode formulation and up, is driven by the goal to ensure that the T6 arrays can operate in tandem as the stackable "building blocks" of larger pump modules.
We recently sat down with Brian Caliva, Product Design & Development Manager, whose role embodies much of Lasertel's core goal: meet exceptional quality requirements while getting products out the door that are specific to our customers' unique needs. Talented team members like Brian, working efficiently between engineering and production teams to meet desired customer specifications, help Lasertel accomplish this goal.
Dr. Prabhu Thiagarajan, Lasertel’s VP of Engineering, is working with some of the leading automotive companies and system integrators in the market to bring the driverless vehicle to widespread adoption.
Last month, Lasertel’s Key Account Manager Rollin Roos attended the Automated Vehicles Symposium in San Francisco, led by the Association of Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI) and the Transportation Research Board, part of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEMTRB).
Jean Michel Maillard is a key player on the Lasertel team for VCSEL (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser) technology and product development. As an optical engineer, his approach to design involves building a trusting partnership with customers to help them reach their technical and cost goals—and it's working well.