Orbits Lightwave Ethernal™ fiber laser is based on scientific and technical innovations in the forefront of laser science. The foundation of our laser technology is based on the innovative and patented ”virtual ring” laser cavity. This novel architecture enables traveling-wave oscillation in a compact, linear and all-fiber laser. The “traveling-wave” laser field eliminates “spatial hole burning” which characterizes standing wave lasers. Standing waves degrade the laser performance because stimulated emission is extinguished at the spatial nodes, where the laser field amplitude is zero. Standing wave lasers, therefore, suffer from incomplete side-mode-suppression, lower power and higher noise.A traveling wave laser on the other hand has significantly higher power and Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) as well as narrower linewidth and higher Side-Mode Suppression ratio (SMSR).
A traveling wave laser oscillation was only ever achieved in complex and expensive ring lasers such as the “Non Planar Ring Oscillators”(NPRO). The Ethernal™ traveling wave “virtual ring” laser technology had already significantly surpassed the state of the art NPRO laser. The exceptional performance of our laser stems from the fundamental advantages offered by the all fiber “virtual ring” laser which result in the best in class in FM noise, SNR, SMSR and frequency stability. Moreover, we have recently achieved another scientific and technical breakthrough by using SlowLight™ to dramatically quench the laser noise to unprecedented levels that redefine the state of the art.
The use of the SlowLight™ effectively increases the photon lifetime inside our laser cavity leading to ultra-low AM noise, FM noise and high frequency stability. One can understand the role of the photon lifetime in laser noise by recognizing that the fundamental laser linewidth is derived from spontaneous emission into the lasing mode. A longer photon lifetime corresponds to a longer laser cavity, which can contain a larger number of lasing photons, thus reducing the relative contribution of spontaneous emission. Hence, slowing the intra-cavity laser light quenches the laser’s spectral linewidth to levels below the Schawlow-Townes limit, as dictated by the laser’s physical cavity size. In our most advanced SlowLight™ laser to date, the light was slowed by a factor of 30 and this translated to a reduction of nearly three orders of magnitude of the fundamental laser linewidth. The SlowLight™ also dramatically affects the laser’s low frequency RIN due to damping of the relaxation resonance peak by as much as 5 orders of magnitude. This remarkable scientific breakthrough in laser performance was first demonstrated at Orbits Lightwave research laboratory with DARPA’s support and furthers our tradition of cutting edge research and high level innovation.
Remarkably, our SlowLight™ laser is not confined to the research laboratory environment. The Ethernal™ SlowLight™ laser is now commercially available in a compact, robust and field ready product made possible due to our Stablelase™ unique packaging technology. This novel packaging greatly reduces susceptibility to shock and vibration by as much as 6 orders of magnitude. It enables our lasers to produce unprecedented levels of stability and reliability under demanding industrial or military environments. In addition the Ethernal™ SlowLight™ laser is housed in an athermal packaging. This athermal packaging minimizes the laser’s frequency drift with respect to temperature, without the need for energy consuming temperature control measures. Athermal packaging also enables unprecedented laser frequency stability due to the very low frequency drift with temperature. Our lasers are also hermetically sealed to minimize any humidity effects. Long term frequency data logged from our standard fiber laser has shown <100MHz drift over a 2 year time period!
The Orbits SlowLight™ lasers are currently available at the 1.5 and 1.064 micron wavelengths, with power > 350mW without amplification. Our lasers have found applications that demand the ultimate in laser noise performance and stability. Applications include: Acoustic Sensing, Lidar, Microwave Photonics and Advanced Coherent Free Space Communications. More importantly, due to Orbits Lightwave innovative Stablelase™ packaging technology, the Ethernal™ SlowLight™ laser can reliably maintain it’s superior noise performance under adverse environmental conditions including: vibrations, acoustic noise, temperature and humidity.