Alfalight initiates development of high-power laser diodes

April 19--Alfalight Inc. has been awarded $4.7 million from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This 18-month effort, entitled Architecture for Diode High Energy Laser Systems (ADHELS), aims to produce a multi-kilowatt diode laser system. Alfalight will develop devices capable of generating near-diffraction-limited output power targeted at 50 watts per emitter--what it calls ideal building blocks to combine into a multi-kilowatt, high-quality direct-diode laser. The effort has an additional nine-month follow-on option, which could result in a total potential value of $6.1 million for Alfalight.

"Diode lasers are attractive for various industrial and military applications because of their output power, reliability, efficiency, and low cost," says Manoj Kanskar, vice president of research and development at Alfalight. "The ADHELS Program will enable us to overcome the last remaining hurdle for this technology, which is to improve the beam quality at very high power operation."

Mohan Warrior, president and CEO of Alfalight, says, "For this program, the Alfalight team will develop a device design with fundamentally improved beam quality versus current multimode laser designs. These performance improvements will be highly valuable in next-generation direct diode systems and defense applications."

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