Fiber arrays are used for constructing optical phased-array lasers, which are used in high-power industrial applications and beam steering for lidar. MIT has developed and built an all-glass, monolithic fiber array that is smaller and more robust than standard arrays.
Fiber arrays are used for constructing optical phased-array lasers that can enable power scaling and beam shaping for industrial applications and beam steering for lidar. MIT’s product is an all-glass, monolithic fiber array launcher that is both significantly smaller than traditional arrays and less susceptible to thermo-optic effects, which allows scaling to much higher laser powers and channel counts. This technology uses novel techniques in glass machining and fusion to achieve the required precision. This monolithic device reduces complexity for industrial laser heads, which attempt to achieve the above-mentioned functionality with mechanical methods and is expected to have a relatively longer lifetime with higher reliability.