Towards 'smart lasers': self-optimisation of an ultrafast pulse source using a genetic algorithm

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Title: Towards 'smart lasers': self-optimisation of an ultrafast pulse source using a genetic algorithm
Authors: Woodward, RI
Kelleher, EJR
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Short-pulse fibre lasers are a complex dynamical system possessing a broad space of operating states that can be accessed through control of cavity parameters. Determination of target regimes is a multi-parameter global optimisation problem. Here, we report the implementation of a genetic algorithm to intelligently locate optimum parameters for stable single-pulse mode-locking in a Figure-8 fibre laser, and fully automate the system turn-on procedure. Stable ultrashort pulses are repeatably achieved by employing a compound fitness function that monitors both temporal and spectral output properties of the laser. Our method of encoding photonics expertise into an algorithm and applying machine-learning principles paves the way to self-optimising ‘smart’ optical technologies.
Issue Date: 21-Nov-2016
Date of Acceptance: 26-Oct-2016
ISSN: 2045-2322
Publisher: Nature Publishing Group
Journal / Book Title: Scientific Reports
Volume: 6
Copyright Statement: © The Author(s) 2016. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in the credit line; if the material is not included under the Creative Commons license, users will need to obtain permission from the license holder to reproduce the material. To view a copy of this license, visit
Sponsor/Funder: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Publication Status: Published
Article Number: 37616
Appears in Collections:Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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