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A coherent array of high power fiber amplifiers (lasers) with a nonlinear refractive index is described and discussed. By adding reflectivity to the inputs of the fibers, each fiber laser is transformed into a regenerative amplifier, with an internal circulating power that varies depending on the round trip phase shift of the field within the fiber. The variation of the internal circulating power results in a preferential shift in the output phase of each amplifier due to the high nonlinearity within the fiber. The resulting phase shift is predicted to substantially compensate for the inherent randomness in the output phase distribution usually associated with the long lengths of fiber amplifiers. The individual outputs of the coherent array are shown to exhibit a ldquofuzzyrdquo phase distribution that can be partially quantified based on a statistical analysis and is dependent on the parameters of the array. A simple example is given of a coherent array of fiber lasers in a Self-Fourier cavity and the degree of coherence is predicted under simplifying assumptions.
Date of Publication: March 2008