High peak power optical pulses are very desirable in industrial, scientific and military applications.
However, maximum peak powers are limited by the damage threshold of the optical materials used and the amount of amplification available. While pulse-pumped amplifiers can achieve high gains, they are typically limited in total average power.
Practical pulse trains contain pulses that are 10s of picoseconds in width, repeat every microsecond or faster and have pulse bursts lasting 1-5ms or longer. Under these conditions a higher average power is needed to sustain the amplification of the pulse train.
Northrop Grumman Cutting Edge Optronics has developed a line of laser amplifiers that have the high gain of the pulse pumped amplifiers and can maintain the amplifier gain for 1-5ms. This allows the amplification of long pulse trains using fewer devices, less gain material and lower overall cost.
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