Application of Lasers for Sensing & Free Space Communication (LS&C)

27 October 2013 – 01 November 2013 OSA Virtual Event

The latest developments in laser based sensing and free space laser communication.

Sophisticated laser system concepts are increasingly being used to address high bandwidth free space optical (FSO) communications needs and for sensing applications.  We are coming into the age of Free Space Optics, where laser systems are seen as a viable competitor to RF systems for many applications. However, system requirements continue to demand increased performance from the various components used to implement these systems. Terrestrial and space based multi-mega/gigabit FSO links have been demonstrated but still require advances in beam steering, detection schemes,  adaptive optics and other methods of mitigating atmospheric effects, and modulated laser encoding before wide applications are to be realized. Optical sensors based on lasers are also progressing both in remote applications as well as in on chip sensing, in communities ranging from environmental sensing to medical diagnostics. Laser based sensing and free space communications both employ sophisticated detection schemes.  This meeting reports on the multiple applications of lasers in FSO communications as well as in advanced sensing applications.

Laser Sensing
  • 1-D, 2-D and 3-D lidars, including through foliage and canopies
  • Single and Multi-aperture lidars
  • Synthetic aperture lidars
  • Compressed sensing lidars
  • Tomographic lidar
  • Atmospheric effects and mitigation for lidar systems
  • laser vibrometers
  • Active Polarization or active multispectral lidars
  • Chemical or biological sensing
  • Laser diagnostics of combustion

Free Space Optical, FSO, Lasercom

  • Experimental FSO Systems
  • Channel Characterization for FSO Systems
  • Space, terrestrial and airborne links
  • FSO quantum cryptography
  • Atmospheric effects and mitigation for FSO systems
  • Wavelength-division multiplexing for FSO systems

Components for LS&C

  • Optical receivers , including linear and Gieger mode APDs
  • Transmitters for LS&C, including narrow band lasers
  • High speed optical modulation
  • Optical beam steering for LS&C
Jean Pierre Wolf, Universite de Geneve, Switzerland, Use of High-Intensity Lasers for Atmospheric Analysis and Control, PLENARY

Philippe Adam, Direction Generale de l'Armement, France, Chem-bio Laser Remote Sensing, Invited

Aniceto Belmonte, Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya BarcelonaTech, Spain, Fading Return Signals in Lidar Atmospheric Sensing , Invited

Claudine Besson, Office National d'Etudes et Recherches Aerospatiales, France, Atmospheric Fiber Lidar, Invited

Joakim Bood, Lund University, Sweden, Development of New Laser-based Measurement Concepts for Diagnostic Challenges in Combustion Research, Invited

Ralph Burnham, Fibertek Inc., United States, Laser Transmitters for Space-Based Lidar, Invited

Guillaume Canat, Office Natl d'Etudes Rech Aerospatiales, France, Progress on Pulsed Eyesafe Narrow Linewidth Fiber Lasers for Lidar Applications, Invited

Vincent Chan, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States, Dense Free Space Optical Multi-Access Networks, Invited

Daniel Dolfi, Thales Research & Technology, France, Recent Advances in Components for Multifunction Lidars: High Resolution Range finding and Atmospheric Sensing, Invited

Bernard Edwards, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, United States, NASA's Laser Communications Relay Demonstration, Invited

Renny Fields, The Aerospace Corporation, United States, Low Earth Orbit (LEO) Laser Communications, A Growing Field with Great Potential, Invited

Christian Fuchs, Deutsches Zent f.Luft-u.Raumfahrt eV (K), Germany, DLR’s Transportable Optical Ground Station, Invited

Martin Gerken, Cassidian Optronics GmbH, Germany, Enhancing the Capabilities of Military Readiness through Laser Communications, Invited

Frank Heine, Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co KG, Germany, Commercial Lasercom Crosslink Systems , Invited

Hamid Hemmati, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States, Laser Communications with Mars Spacecraft, Invited

Mark Itzler, Princeton Lightwave Inc, United States, Geiger-mode APD cameras for 3D LADAR imaging, Invited

Robert Lamb, SELEX Galileo Ltd, United Kingdom, New Trends in Integrated Imaging Lidar, Invited

Clement Mallet, Institut National de l'information Geogr, France, Topographic Lidar Mapping: A Crucial Technology for Many Environmental Applications, Invited

Didier Morancais, EADS Astrium SAS, France, The Atmospheric Wind Lidar Instrument (ALADIN): Development Status, Invited

Henric Ostmark, FOI Swedish Defense Research Agency, Sweden, Stand off Techniques for Explosive Detection, Invited

Oliver Reitebuch, DLR Oberpfaffenhofen Aerospace Center, Germany, Future Spaceborne and Current Airborne Lidar Remote Sensing for Atmospheric Research, Invited

Wolfgang Schaefer, Time Tech GmbH, Germany, Frequency Synchronization using Laser Light, Invited

Jeffrey Shapiro, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States, Ultimate Limits on Photon and Spectral Efficient Communication through Atmospheric Turbulence, Invited

Stuart Shelley, Etegent Technologies Ltd, United States, Laser Vibrometry for ISR and Commercial Applications: Exploitation and Phenomenology, Invited

Upendra Singh, NASA Langley Research Center, United States, 20 years of Tm:Ho:YLF and LuLF Laser Development for Global Winds Measurements, Invited

Rupert Ursin, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Free Space Quantum Cryptography, Invited

George Williams, Voxtel Inc., United States, Advanced Avalanche Photodiode LADAR Focal Plane Array Technologies, Invited

Volker Wulfmeyer, Universität Hohenheim , Germany, 'Mellow out, you Donut' or 'The Quest to Realize High-Power, Scalable Laser Transmitters for Lidar Applications' , Invited

S. J. Ben Yoo, University of California Davis, United States, Photon Lightwave Circuits for Sensing and Communication, Invited


Paul McManamon, Exciting Technology LLC, United States
Ove Steinvall, Swedish Defence Research Agency, Sweden
Edward Watson, University of Dayton, United States


Claudine Besson, Office National d'Etudes et Recherches Aerospatiales, France
Gerald Buller, Heriot-Watt University, United Kingdom
Reinhard Ebert, Fraunhofer-Inst of Optronics, Syst Tech, Germany
John Gongleski, European Off of Aerospace Res. & Devo, United Kingdom
Frank Heine, Tesat-Spacecom GmbH & Co KG, Germany
Richard Heinrichs, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States
Hamid Hemmati, Jet Propulsion Laboratory, United States
Sammy Henderson, Beyond Photonics, United States
Thomas Karr, DARPA/STO, United States
Robert Lamb, SELEX Galileo Ltd, United Kingdom
Nicolas Perlot, Fraunhofer Heinrich-Hertz Institute, Germany
Zoran Sodnik, European Space Agency, United States
Larry Stotts, Stotts Consulting, United States
LS&C Plenary Session
Jean-Pierre Wolf, Univ. of Geneva, Switzerland, Use of High-Intensity Lasers for Atmospheric Analysis and Control
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Conference Banquet
Charles Hirlimann, European Union Relationship CNRS International Cooperation Office, France, A Strange Instrument: the Fabry‐ Pérot Interferometer
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ASSL Industry Program Keynote Speaker
Eric Mottay, Amplitude Systemes, France, Industrial Ultrafast Lasers
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ASSL Industry Program Panel
These industry experts will discuss opportunities and the wide variety of applications in Medical Device, Aerospace and Automotive. In addition they will provide insight into new laser technology and successful business strategy from large business to small contract manufacturers.

Executive Speaker Series
OSA’s Corporate Associates invite you to a special Interview featuring Philippe Brégi, President and CEO, Egide Group.
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National Photonics Initiative
Gregory J. Quarles, Optoelectronics Management Network, USA
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OIDA Program on Industrial Lasers
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VIP Networking Event: Connecting Corporate Executives, Recent Graduates and Students
This session brings together Industry Executives to share their business experience – from how they started their careers and lessons learned along the way, to using their degree in an executive position.

SC290 High-power Fiber Lasers and Amplifiers

Johan Nilsson, Optoelectronics Research Ctr., Univ. of Southampton, UK

Course Level: Advanced Beginner (basic understanding of topic is necessary to follow course material)

Course Description: This course describes the principles and capabilities of high power fiber lasers and amplifiers, with output powers that can exceed a kilowatt. It describes the fundamentals of such devices and discusses current state of the art and research directions of this rapidly advancing field. Fiber technology, pump laser requirements and input coupling will be addressed. Rare-earth-doped fiber devices are the focus of the course, but Raman lasers and amplifiers will be considered, too, if time allows. This includes Yb-doped fibers at 1.0 - 1.1 μm, Er-doped fibers at 1.5 - 1.6 μm, and Tm-doped fibers at around 2 μm. Operating regimes extending from continuous-wave single-frequency to short pulses will be considered. Key equations will be introduced to find limits and identify critical parameters. For example, pump brightness is a critical parameter for some devices in some regimes but not always. Important limitations relate to nonlinear and thermal effects, as well as damage, energy storage and, of course, materials. Methods to mitigate limitations in different operating regimes will be discussed. Fiber, laser and amplifiers designs for different operating regimes will be described.

Intended Audience: This course is intended for scientists and engineers involved or interested in commercial and military high power fiber systems. This includes system designers, laser designers, fiber fabricators, and users. A basic knowledge of fibers and lasers is needed

Benefits and Learning Objectives
After completion of this short course the participant will be able to:

  • Describe the fundamentals of high power fiber lasers and amplifiers.
  • List key strengths, relative merits, and specific capabilities of high power fiber lasers and amplifiers.
  • Assess performance limitations and describe the underlying physical reasons in different operating regimes.
  • Design or specify basic fiber properties for specific operating regimes.
  • Describe the possibilities, limitations, and implications of current technology regarding core size and rare earth concentration of doped fibers.
  • Discuss different options for suppressing detrimental nonlinearities.
  • Design basic high power fiber lasers and amplifier systems.
  • List strengths and weaknesses of different pumping schemes.

SC406 Nonlinear Effects in Fibers

Thomas Schreiber, Fraunhofer IOF Jena, Germany

Course description:The extended nonlinear Schrödinger equation (NLSE) is the basic equation for the description of optical pulse propagation in fibers that experience various linear and nonlinear effects. The course will first focus on the basic effect and its understanding described by this equation like pulse broadening, spectral broadening (SPM, FWM, optical wave breaking), soliton effects, stimulated Raman scattering, supercontinuum generation, pulse amplification and pulse compression. Additionally, the fundamentals to numerically solve the equations are described. In a second part, the laser rate equations that can be applied to active fiber amplifier systems are discussed. Relevant effects that can be studied with the combination of the rate equation and nonlinear Schrödinger equation are introduces, for example, saturation of fiber amplifiers, broadband amplification, ASE background and noise and pump conditions. Furthermore, inelastic scattering processes of Brillouin and Raman scattering are considered. Finally, system designs, for instance short pulse fiber oscillators, are considered, where different fiber optical elements affect the output.

Intended Audience: This course would be useful to anyone working with fibers and is interested in understanding and predicting laboratory results.
Benefits and Learning Objectives
This course should enable you to:

  • describe  the basics of the nonlinear Schrödinger Equation and laser rate equations
  • compute and discuss the numerical solution to these equations, like the Split-Step Method
  • determine numerical stability issues
  • design fiber optics setups regarding nonlinear effects