Mode-locked semiconductor laser technology is a promising technology candidate considered by European Space Agency (ESA) for optical metrology systems and other space applications in the context of high-precision optical metrology, in particular for High Accuracy Absolute Long Distance Measurement. For these applications, we have realised a multi-section monolithic-cavity tapered laser diode with a record cavity length of 13.5 mm. The laser operates at 975 nm wavelength. It is designed for the emission of ultra-short optical pulses (<1 ps) at a repetition rate of 3 GHz with an average optical power of 600 mW. It is based on a MOVPE grown laser structure with Aluminium free active region enabling high optical gain, low internal losses and low series resistance. The first results obtained under CW pumping of such centimetre-long laser at 20 °C heatsink temperature show the lasing threshold current as low as 1.27 A and the differential external efficiency as high as 0.55 W/A.
ESLW-2015 European Semiconductor Laser Workshop, Madrid (ES)