Technology / Our Advances
Stimulated Brillouin Scattering (SBS) is a “physics effect” that chokes off the transmission of high power laser photons in a fiber optic cable by reflecting the energy backwards to catastrophically destroy both the fiber optic cable and laser source. In short, photons and acoustic phonons interact in a vicious cycle that gets exponentially worse with increasing power and distance.
Foro Energy started with the three governing equations of SBS to build a foundational physical understanding of the phenomenon and the resulting impact on high power laser transmission.
With advanced physics simulations and experimental capabilities, Foro Energy developed a solution where the fiber optic cable, laser source, and combined system are simultaneously engineered to eliminate the onset of SBS even at high laser power levels and long distances.
This engineered solution gives us the unique capability to transmit high power lasers in fiber optic cables over long distances.
The experts consensus was that multi-kW, multi-mile high power laser transmission is “impossible”
Extending the long distance performance of telecom fibers to the high powers of industrial fibers.
The high power laser fiber optic cables used on a factory floor are short enough where high efficiencies are not critical.
By overcoming SBS, Foro Energy enabled high power laser transmission over distances more similar to the lower power telecom cables. Extraordinary financial resources were devoted over many decades to optimize fibers to efficiently carry, for example, internet and voice data.
Foro Energy combined the lessons of fabricating ultra low loss and long distance telecom fibers with the unique high power specification that eliminates SBS. This unique ultra low loss, long distance, high power fiber optic cable allows the economic delivery of high power laser to many relevant depths and distances of the energy industry.
The unique fiber optic cable is protected from high temperature, pressure, and vibration with packaging techniques similar to low power fiber counterparts including corrosion- and crush- resistant armoring and vibration-isolating buffers.
The enabled long distances where fiber efficiency matters.,
Optical Slip Ring
Rotational coupling to spool and unspool high power fiber optic cable
The Optical Slip Ring (OSR) extends the standard industry capabilities to high power to allow for spool-deployment of the fiber optic cable.
Additional technical requirements include high efficiency (<3% loss) and thermally-compensated optics that maintain alignment throughout the operating range of laser powers.
To enable integration and operation in a field environment, the OSR is designed for mounting in spool hubs and all-weather conditions including temperature, humidity, and shock.
Conventional fiber optic slip rings operate at low powers on the order of magnitude of a single watt.
The downhole connector provides the output of the “laser power cord” with rugged termination of the fiber optic cable and micron-precision alignment to the target.
Although most connectors require water cooling, Foro Energy developed an advanced thermal system with fluence and backreflection management to enable operation at high power continuous wave power with passive cooling.
The component has been engineered and successfully performs at high temperatures and vibrations.
Conventional connectors operate with water cooling and low shock thresholds
Deploying Rugged Hardware
The experience curve of delivering high power lasers under the ground for the first time ever.
As any field engineer knows, the reliable operation of a system in a rugged environment is more than the sum of rugged components.
Foro Energy developed, and continues to develop, the know-how and experience curve of deploying high power laser systems in the field that can only come from being the first.
Although talked about in the industry for 50 years, no other company has taken a high power laser under the ground
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