In this work, we developed and exploited simulation tools to optimize the performances of rare earth doped fiber amplifiers (REDFAs) for space missions. To describe these systems, a state-of-the-art model based on the rate equations and the particle swarm optimization technique is developed in which we also consider the main radiation effect on REDFA: the radiation induced attenuation (RIA). After the validation of this tool set by confrontation between theoretical and experimental results, we investigate how the deleterious radiation effects on the amplifier performance can be mitigated following adequate strategies to conceive the REDFA architecture. The tool set was validated by comparing the calculated Erbium-doped fiber amplifier (EDFA) gain degradation under X-rays at ∼300 krad(SiO2) with the corresponding experimental results. Two versions of the same fibers were used in this work, a standard optical fiber and a radiation hardened fiber, obtained by loading the previous fiber with hydrogen gas. Based on these fibers, standard and radiation hardened EDFAs were manufactured and tested in different operating configurations, and the obtained data were compared with simulation data done considering the same EDFA structure and fiber properties. This comparison reveals a good agreement between simulated gain and experimental data (<10% as the maximum error for the highest doses). Compared to our previous results obtained on Er/Yb-amplifiers, these results reveal the importance of the photo-bleaching mechanism competing with the RIA that cannot be neglected for the modeling of the radiation-induced gain degradation of EDFAs. This implies to measure in representative conditions the RIA at the pump and signal wavelengths that are used as input parameters for the simulation. The validated numerical codes have then been used to evaluate the potential of some EDFA architecture evolutions in the amplifier performance during the space mission. Optimization of both the fiber length and the EDFA pumping scheme allows us to strongly reduce its radiation vulnerability in terms of gain. The presented approach is a complementary and effective tool for hardening by device techniques and opens new perspectives for the applications of REDFAs and lasers in harsh environments.
Optimized radiation-hardened erbium doped fiber amplifiers for long space missions
A. Ladaci, S. Girard, L. Mescia, T. Robin, A. Laurent, B. Cadier, M. Boutillier, Y. Ouerdane, A. Boukenter; Optimized radiation-hardened erbium doped fiber amplifiers for long space missions. J. Appl. Phys. 28 April 2017; 121 (16): 163104. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.4981532
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