Rheinmetall's spectral coupling-based laser source reaches 20 kWNews
September 17, 2019
GERMANY. The laser team at Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH has now attained an optical power of 20 kilowatts (kW) with a laser technology based on spectral coupling. The laser source was constructed and commissioned in cooperation with NKT Photonics Technology GmbH.
The core of the 20-kW laser source consists of twelve narrow-band fibre laser modules with nearly diffraction-limited beam quality. In the spectral coupling unit, twelve individual beams from the laser fibre modules are coupled to form a single combined beam via a high-precision dielectric grid.
The advantages of this coupling method include minimal performance dissipation, maintenance of the beam quality of the individual beams in the combined single beam, and scalability to higher performance levels by adding to the number of coupled laser fibre modules.
In the meantime, Rheinmetall is pushing ahead with the internal qualification process and military hardening of the ITAR-free laser source.