Computer Modeling for Laser Development and Laser Science
with Modeling and Design Software from RP Photonics
RP Photonics has developed powerful simulation software. For all software packages described here, user licenses are available; alternatively, you can profit from it through technical consulting. The software can be used
- for calculating many properties and the performance of devices
(e.g. of passive fibers, fiber lasers, laser resonators, thin-film devices)
- for developing a quantitative understanding
(e.g. of the importance of certain effects)
- for simulating processes and effects of design changes
- for planning of your lab experiments
(e.g. concerning required parts and expected results)
- for optimizing device designs more efficiently
- for identifying the causes of observed problems
Specialties of RP Photonics Software
Our software is special in several respects:
- The development and the technical support are done by an internationally known expert with a particularly detailed expertise.
- The technical support can not only be used for directly software-specific issues, but also for related technical and scientific questions.
- The software (except for RP Fiber Calculator) is extremely flexible due to a built-in script language, so that it can be used even for most sophisticated calculations.
Here is a short overview on our software products, which are described in more detail on separate pages:
The Free RP Fiber Calculator for Calculations on Passive Optical Fibers
RP Fiber Calculator is a convenient tool for calculations on optical fibers. For example, you can can
- easily define refractive index profiles via a graphical interface
- get all the guided modes of the fiber calculated – with effective refractive index, effective mode area, mode profile, etc.
- find out how a Gaussian laser beam can be launched into a misaligned fiber end – get the powers launched into all the guided modes
- display the intensity or amplitude profile of the launched light evolving in the fiber, and how its far field outside the fiber looks
- calculate the coupling between different single-mode or multimode fibers (considering the influences of different fiber designs, a transverse offset of the cores and an angle offset)
- calculate the reflection at fiber ends, which may be angled
RP Fiber Calculator is a great tool for quick calculations on fibers. Although it is not as powerful and flexible as RP Fiber Power (see below), for many it will a very convenient helper in everyday work on fiber optics.
We offer the basic version of RP Fiber Calculator for free, and sell licenses for the enhanced PRO version. Although some of the above mentioned functionality is available only in the PRO version, the free version is already a really helpful tool.
(see more details)
RP Fiber Power for Designing Fiber Lasers, Amplifiers and other Fiber Devices
RP Fiber Power is a powerful tool for designing passive and active fiber devices. For example, it can
- calculate the fiber modes
- numerically propagate light fields through fibers and other waveguides, which may have arbitrary index profiles, variable bend radii, taper regions, multiple cores, lossy regions, etc.
- reveal the operation details of fiber couplers, fiber interferometers, etc.
- calculate pump, signal and ASE powers in fiber amplifiers and lasers
- simulate the temporal evolution of powers in a pulsed amplifier or Q-switched laser
- do the propagation of ultrashort pulses in ultrafast amplifiers and lasers
RP Fiber Power is an important tool for understanding and optimizing performance details such as bend loss, coupling effects, amplifier gain, noise figure, feedback sensitivity and power efficiency. It can be used even for most sophisticated level schemes (e.g. in upconversion lasers) and also for bulk lasers and amplifiers. The tool is extremely flexible due to its built-in script language.
(see more details)
RP Resonator for Laser Resonator Design
RP Resonator can be used for designing optical resonators, in particular laser resonators. It can not only calculate a wide range of properties of such resonators (such as the variation of beam radii, the sensitivity e.g. to thermal lensing and misalignment, dispersion from geometric effects, etc.), but also allows sophisticated optimizations.
For example, RP Resonator can be used for designing laser cavities which simultaneously meet a number of requirements, such as given mode sizes at certain positions, minimum sensitivity to thermal lensing and misalignment, minimum effect of aberrations on the beam quality, etc.
You will hardly find a similarly flexible resonator design tool on the market!
(see more details)
RP ProPulse for the Simulation of Pulse Propagation
RP ProPulse can simulate the propagation of short optical pulses, for example
A wide variety of effects can be treated, including various kinds of optical nonlinearities, so that even extreme processes such as supercontinuum generation in photonic crystal fibers can be simulated. The very flexible user interface allows the user to quickly define the problem, generate output in the form of any kind of diagrams (including time/frequency plots and spectrograms), import or export tabulated data, do sophisticated evaluations (for example, statistical processing for extracting noise properties), etc.
(see more details)
RP Coating for the Design of Multilayer Structures
RP Coating is a powerful tool for the design of complex multilayer structures, such as
- laser mirrors
- mirrors for dispersion compensation
- edge filters
- broadband anti-reflection coatings
- thin-film polarizers
- semiconductor saturable absorbers (SESAMs) and lasers
Its flexible user interface makes it easy to define multilayer structures in various ways. A great variety of properties of the structures can be calculated, including reflection and transmission amplitudes and phases, chromatic dispersion, internal field distribution, etc. Finally, RP Coating allows for sophisticated numerical optimizations.
(see more details)
RP Q-switch for Designing Q-switched Lasers
RP Q-switch can simulate the evolution of optical power and gain in Q-switched lasers (including bulk lasers and fiber lasers) and in subsequent amplifier stages. This software is controlled via forms.
(see more details)
You don't actually need to buy a license for such software, but can also have the software applied at RP Photonics and buy only the generated results in the context of technical consultancy.
All our software runs under Microsoft Windows (XP or later), but not in virtual machines. We normally deliver a 32-bit software version, which runs on 32-bit or 64-bit Windows version. On request, we deliver a 64-bit version, which requires a 64-bit Windows version.
In most cases, the hardware requirements in terms of CPU speed, main memory and harddisk space are quite moderate, but in some cases it can be helpful or even necessary to have at least 4 GB of main memory and a fast CPU.
Dr. Paschotta's software is not only powerful, but has a very high quality in various respects:
- The underlying equations are based on a very decent physical understanding and the knowledge of relevant scientific literature.
- The software design has been carefully planned from the beginning, enabling e.g. easy future expansions without changing the concept.
- The programs have been carefully validated in many details, e.g. by comparison with analytically calculated results for special situations, or by detailed comparison with results from other researchers.
- The user interfaces are so flexible that it is never necessary to include project-specific details in the source code. There is e.g. just one program (RP ProPulse) for the simulation of pulse propagation, and it is used for a great variety of different situations (associated with mode-locked lasers, sync-pumped parametric oscillators, or optical fibers) just by developing corresponding scripts.
- The software comes with carefully made comprehensive documentation.
- Users obtain high-quality technical support.
Before you try to develop such software yourself, consider the risks associated with required development time (always more than originally expected!), non-ideal algorithms (compromising accuracy and/or computation time) and errors (possibly misleading your development team). And note that software is only one requirement for numerical modeling: even more importantly, you need a detailed physical understanding, knowledge of possible approaches and mathematical techniques, experience concerning how to make a model useful, etc. Having a real expert for such jobs is certainly worth a lot.
Individually Developed Software
RP Photonics also offers the development of specialized software for customers. Possible functions of such software are
- various kinds of simulations, e.g. of laser and amplifier dynamics
- other calculations in optics, e.g. concerning material dispersion, interferometers, Kramers-Kronig relations, etc.
- specialized data acquisition and processing, e.g. calculation of noise spectra from data recorded in the time domain
If you are interested, contact RP Photonics to find out what can be done.