Co-located AHPL/Beam Control
Short Courses

11 June 2012 Broomfield, Colorado

These short courses were offered at the Co-located Advanced High-Power Laser Review and Beam Control Conference, held in Broomfield, Colorado on 11-14 June 2012. Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits were awarded for completion of these DEPS short courses.

    Morning Courses

  1. Thermal Management Technologies *

  2. Diode Pumped Alkali Lasers

  3. Ultrashort Pulse Laser Induced Filaments (Moved from the afternoon)
    Full Day Courses

  1. Beam Directors 101 (Limited)

  2. Introduction to Free Electron Lasers *
    Afternoon Courses

  1. Introduction to Laser Beam Quality *

  2. Ultrashort Pulse Laser Bioeffects (Moved from the morning)

  3. Fused Fiber Laser Components

* This short course was webcast.

Course 1.  Thermal Management Technologies

Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

Instructor: John Vetrovec

Duration: Half-day course

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This course offers an overview of current major challenges in thermal management of lasers/electro-optical components/systems and it describes prospective solutions. Students will learn how to approach thermal management from the system engineering point-of-view, become familiar with prospective solutions, and will be introduced to techniques for conducting trade analyses. Significant portion of the course will be devoted to enduring challenges in thermal management, namely handling of high-heat flux loads, dealing with high-power momentary loads, cryogenic cooling, and thermal management on military land/air vehicles. Numerous examples from specific projects and lessons learned will be described. Methodologies, solution toolbox, and extensive references to in-depth information will be provided in printed course material. Topics include:

  • Requirements for thermal management lasers/electro-optics on military platforms
  • Thermal management principles
  • Applicable thermal management technologies and their limitations
  • Exemplary cases (requirements, what was done, what did / did not work and why)
  • System engineering approach to thermal management
  • Enduring challenges and paths to solutions
  • Future perspectives

Intended Audience: This course is aimed at systems engineers, project engineers/managers/planners, and electro-optical engineers /scientists, but thermal management experts will also benefit from attending. Undergraduate education in science and engineering is beneficial.

Instructor Biography: John Vetrovec is an internationally recognized scientist, engineer, and innovator with over 34 years of extensive technical and management experience in aerospace. His innovations enabled hundreds of $M in new business revenues, most notably the Advanced Tactical Laser (ATL). From 1978 to 1988 John was a lead engineer and project manager at TRW Inc. in Redondo Beach, CA (now Northrop Grumman Space Technologies or NGST) where he conducted research in energetic particle beams, chemical and free electron lasers, nuclear fusion, plasma physics, thermal management, aerodynamics, spacecraft design, cryogenic vacuum pumps, and rocket propulsion. Since 1988 until his departure in 2006, John was a Technical Fellow at Boeing Lasers & Electro-Optics in West Hills, CA, where he led research, system definition and hardware development projects electromagnetics, semiconductor laser diodes, diode-pumped solid-state lasers, chemical lasers, thermal management, terahertz (THz) imaging technologies, kinetic missile interceptors, and missile defense. In 2007, John founded Aqwest. John is widely acclaimed as a versatile and prolific innovator/author with over 50 U.S. Patents issued or pending and over 70 technical publications in refereed journals and conference proceedings. His notable accomplishments include 1) construction of 100-MW neutral particle beam lines at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), 2) the development of a MW-class free electron laser at LLNL and at Boeing, and 3) initial system design/trades and technology development for the Airborne Laser (ABL), 4) the development of cryogenic zeolite vacuum pump which enabled the ATL, and the development of the disk laser. Many of his inventions were seminal and laid a path to further development. John has extensive theoretical and practical experience with thermal management of broad variety of components and systems ranging from watts to MW of heat load, from cryogenic to high-temperature, and on land and air platforms. He has been honored and profiled in the November 2003 issue of the Frontiers magazine published by The Boeing Company (circ. ~350,000), also available online at John has a BA and MA in Mathematics and an MS in EE/plasma physics, all from UCLA. He is a member of AIAA, SAE, IEEE, ASME, SPIE, and DEPS. John is the founder and president of Aqwest.

Course 2.  Diode Pumped Alkali Lasers (DPALs)

Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

Instructor: David Hostutler, Kirtland

Duration: Half-day course

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: The Diode Pumped Alkali Laser (DPAL) system originally proposed and demonstrated by Krupke is a three level laser pumped by diode bars on the D2 transition, exciting the first 2P3/2 state of the alkali atom. Collisional relaxation to the 2P1/2 state is accomplished with a spin orbit relaxing gas such as ethane or methane, while pressure broadening of the absorption line has routinely been accomplished with He. The excited alkali atom then lases on the D1 line back to the ground state. Terminating the laser level at the ground state requires the gain volume to be fully bleached before achieving an inversion between the 2P1/2 and 2S1/2 states, resulting in pump threshold values of ~1 kW/cm2. Early laser demonstrations achieved laser output powers of 1-3 W in both rubidium and cesium with slope efficiencies as high as 82%. More recently, cw output powers as high as 145 W with in-band slope efficiencies of 28% have been reported.

This course will develop the background spectroscopy and kinetics of the DPAL system, summarize recent laser demonstrations, discuss narrow banding of diode pump sources, develop the key performance and scaling equations, and outline several issues in the development of these devices for tactical weapons applications.

Intended Audience: The course is intended for scientists and engineers with a basic understanding of laser engineering.

Instructor Biography: Glen Perram, Professor of Physics, AFIT. B.S. Cornell University 1980, M.S. AFIT 1981, Ph.D. AFIT 1986. Professor Perram's research interests include chemical lasers, laser weapon modeling and simulation, remote sensing, and chemical physics. He has served on the AFIT faculty since 1989 and is the author of over 30 archival publications and 80 presentations.

Course 3.  Ultrashort Pulse Laser Bioeffects

Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    - Benjamin A. Rockwell, AFRL
    - Bob Thomas

Duration: Half-day course

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This short course introduces the basics of the biological effects of Directed Energy on cells, tissues, organisms, and humans, with particular emphasis on the influence of such effects on the development of use of Directed-Energy-Emitting technologies. The student will learn about the mechanisms, resulting damage, and mission impact of laser-tissue interaction, as well as what tissues are most susceptible to laser damage based on wavelength, exposure duration, and irradiance. The potential mission-impact of sub-threshold, threshold, and suprathreshold exposures will be discussed. Topics include:

  • Laser damage of the eye (retina and cornea)
  • Laser damage to the skin
  • Laser safety standards
  • Laser damage as a function of energy, pulse duration, wavelength, and spot size

Intended Audience: Students need a basic knowledge of electromagnetism, such as that gained from a bachelor's program in science or engineering or on-the-job technical experience. Persons affected by laser safety standards during the development, test, evaluation, and use of Directed-Energy-Emitting equipment will find the course particularly elucidating. Individuals involved in health, science, or weapons policy will benefit from the plain language explanations of the technical subjects addressed in the course.

Instructor: Dr. Benjamin A. Rockwell is a Principal Research Physicist in the Optical Radiation Branch, Directed Energy Bioeffects Division, Human Effectiveness Directorate, of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Dr. Rockwell has co-authored 43 peer-reviewed publications, 101 proceedings publications, and published two book chapters and one review article. He is a Fellow of the Laser Institute of America. He serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Laser Applications, is the Conference Chair of the 2009 International Laser Safety Conference, and serves or has served on the national (ANSI Z136) and international (IEC TC-76) laser safety committees.

Course 4.  Beam Directors 101

Classification: Unclassified, Limited Participation

Instructor: Bill Decker, Defense Acquisition University

Duration: Full-day course

CEUs awarded: 0.70

Course Description: The course will cover beam directors from the requirements and parameter that determine the overall approach to the development of a strategy to acquire and integrate a beam director into an HEL system. Subjects include:

  • Performance requirements that drive the design.
  • Laser parameters and how they affect the beam director.
  • Optical design issues, including aperture, F/#, optical materials and HEL coatings.
  • Mechanical design issues, including on-axis and off-axis designs, materials.
  • Beam director design basics, including gimbal performance requirements, jitter and tracking rates.
  • Other considerations, including stray light, off-axis sensors, control systems.
  • Beam director systems engineering - balancing performance with cost, schedule and risk.
  • How to get the best beam director for your budget.

Intended Audience: Program managers, lead engineers, systems engineers of HEL systems that will include a beam director. A technical background is useful, but not required.

Instructor Biography: Mr. Decker's 38 year career includes active duty, industry, university and now DAU experience. He received a BS in Engineering from Cornell University and a MS in Physics from the Naval Postgraduate School and performed additional graduate work at the University of Arizona Optical Sciences Center. Mr. Decker's Army 20 year Army career included assignments as Test Officer for Electro-Optics Test; Assistant Professor of Physics at the US Military Academy and Research and Development Coordinator at the Army's Night Vision and Electro-Optics Center. After retirement from the Army, he spent three years with ITT Night Vision as the Manager of Advanced Technology Programs and eleven years with Brashear, a Division of L-3 Communications where he was a program manager, product line manager and business developer, extensively involved in DE programs.

Course 5.  Introduction to Free Electron Laser Systems (This course will also be Webcast)

Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

Instructor: Dinh Nguyen, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Duration: Full-day course

CEUs awarded: 0.7

Course Description: The purpose of this course is to introduce the audience to the physics and technologies of free electron lasers (FEL) driven by radio-frequency (RF) linear accelerators (linac). The topics to be covered include rudimentary concepts of laser and electron beam physics, the generation, acceleration and transport of high-brightness electron beams, wiggler/undulator radiation, and the production of high-power, coherent laser beams using various FEL architectures. Emphasis will be placed on practical design considerations of various FEL sub-systems, e.g. electron injectors, cathodes, superconducting RF accelerators, energy recovery beam transport, wiggler designs and photon beam optics. The audience will gain the basic accelerator and FEL knowledge that will aid them in selecting and/or designing various sub-systems of an energy recovery linac FEL.

Intended Audience: Prerequisites for this short course include an undergraduate science degree and an optional college-level electricity & magnetism course.

Instructor Biographies: Dinh C. Nguyen received B.S. with Honor in Chemistry at Indiana University, Bloomington in 1979 and Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of Wisconsin, Madison in 1984. Since joining Los Alamos National Laboratory in 1984, he has done pioneering work in single molecule detection, up-conversion solid-state lasers, RF photoinjectors, advanced photocathodes, and high-gain amplifier FEL concepts such as the self-amplified spontaneous emission (SASE) and regenerative amplifier. The high-gain SASE experiments that he performed in 1997 are the first in a series of experiments that have culminated in the first X-ray FEL at SLAC. His current research includes the development of high-power FEL, high-average-current RF injectors, rugged photocathodes and new ideas of hard X-rays FEL. Dinh Nguyen is a member of the American Physical Society, the International FEL Program Committee, and the FEL Technology Area Working Group. He has published more than 60 refereed journal articles and numerous conference papers.

Course 6.  Introduction to Laser Beam Quality Measures

Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

Instructor: Sean Ross, AFRL/DE

Duration:Half-day course

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This half day short course covers the general subject of high power laser beam quality. Topics covered include: definitions and applications of common measures of beam quality including Brightness, Power-in-the-bucket, M-squared, 'times diffraction limited', strehl ratio, beam parameter product etc. Special emphasis will be given to choosing an appropriate beam quality metric, tracing the metric to the application of the laser system and to various conceptual pitfalls which arise in this field. Material presented will come from general scientific literature as well as original work done by Dr. Ross and Dr. Pete Latham, both from the Air Force Research Laboratory Directed Energy Directorate.

Intended Audience: This course should benefit anyone with an interest in laser beam quality, including program managers, scientists, engineers, and military personnel who are not experts in the field.

Instructor Biography: Dr. Sean Ross has been with the Air Force Research Laboratory, Directed Energy Directorate, High Power Solid State Laser Branch since he received his PhD from the Center for Research and Education in Optics and Lasers (CREOL) in 1998. Research interests include nonlinear frequency conversion, high power solid state lasers, thermal management and laser beam quality. Beginning in 2000, frustration with commercial beam quality devices led to the work eventually presented in the Journal of Directed Energy, Vol. 2 No. 1 Summer 2006 "Appropriate Measures and Consistent Standard for High Energy Laser Beam Quality". This paper and its conference version (presented at the 2005 DEPS Symposium) have received awards from the Directed Energy Professional Society and the Directed Energy Directorate.

Course 7.  Ultrashort Pulse Laser Induced Filaments

Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

    - Miroslav Kolesik, UA
    - Howard M. Milchberg, UMD

Duration: Half-day course

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This short course introduces and discusses the main theoretical aspects of ultrashort laser pulse induced filamentation in transparent media. The properties of femtosecond filaments and some of their published applications are presented in the context of electromagnetic theory starting with Maxwell's equations. Theoretical models developed to explain filaments thus far and the main predictions inferred from them are reviewed along with various published techniques to observe filaments and to measure their characteristics will be discussed.

Instructor Biography:

Course 8.  Fused Fiber Laser Components

Classification: Unclassified, Public Release

Instructor: Baishi Wang, Director of Technology, Vytran LLC

Duration: Half-day course

CEUs awarded: 0.35

Course Description: This course provides attendees with fundamentals of fused fiber laser components, fiber fusion process, and fabrication of common fused fiber devices for fiber laser applications. It reviews specialty fibers, fiber fusion process, and waveguide optics for coupling light between different fibers. It focuses on fused fiber laser components with an emphasis on coupling optimization and mode-field adapting between fibers and fused fiber combining devices. The course also describes application examples on fiber lasers and power scaling using fused fiber components. Topics include:

  • Specialty fibers
  • Fiber fusion process and technologies
  • Coupling optimization and mode-field adapting between dissimilar fibers
  • Fused fiber components and fiber combining devices
  • Application examples on fiber lasers and power scaling

Intended Audience:This material is intended for anyone with engineering background including technical staff, engineering managers, and associated personal, who are looking for in-depth knowledge of fused fiber laser components used for fabricating high performance fiber lasers and for enabling power scaling of fiber laser systems. Some fiber and optics background is also preferred.

Instructor Biography:Baishi Wang is the Director of Technology at Vytran LLC, New Jersey, USA. He received his Ph.D from State University of New York at Stony Brook on Engineering. He has over 10 years of experience in specialty fibers and fused component fabrication and fiber fusion. His research area includes fiber fused component technology, fiber fusion process and automated instrumentation, fiber amplifier and lasers, doped and un-doped specialty fibers, waveguide theory and modeling, and fiber test and measurements. Prior to joining Vytran, he was a member of technical staff in Specialty Fiber Division at Lucent Technologies and OFS. He has published over 20 papers in referred conferences and journals and has provided numerous invited talks in the SPIE, OSA and other conferences. He also teaches a short course on splicing and fiber fused components at Photonic West. He is a member of SPIE and OSA.

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Last updated: 25 June 2012