Applications
By Kevin Kirkham, Northwest Regional Sales Manager, Ophir-Spiricon

PREH, Saale Germany, manufactures electronic controls for some of today’s finest automobiles. Production facilities are located in Portugal, Mexico, Romania, and the USA. PREH uses laser ablation technology to manufacture the controls that operate climate and driver systems. This process is made possible when a focused laser beam is used to remove layers of coatings to form an optically transmissive area of the device. This transmissive, laser etched area forms the symbol that informs the driver of the controls function.

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Measuring the power of scanning lasers, such bar code scanners, presents a problem. A bar code laser beam scans back and forth at a very high frequency so any ordinary photodiode power meter will not measure the power in the beam but rather the average power impinging on it, i.e. the power times the fraction of time the beam is on the detector. Therefore, when exposed to a scanned beam, the reading will be much lower than the actual power in the beam. For example, if a scanning laser delivers 2mW to a photodiode sensor and the beam is on the sensor only 1% of the time, the instrument will read only 0.02mW.

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Aligning an invisible laser beam with a visible pointer beam may sound simple but to do it right with everything lined up is not so obvious. Here is how it is done:

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By Greg Dallinger, Graduate Student, University of California Berkeley
I am a fifth year graduate student, working in the Saykally group at the University of California Berkeley. My research focuses on investigating air/water interfaces using second harmonic generation, a surface selective nonlinear optical technique. We are interested in investigating the microscopic structure of the air/water interface, as well as the effect of aqueous electrolytes on this interface. Our laser system includes a home built Ti:Sapphire oscillator and a commercial amplifier.
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By Dick McCreary, Ohio Calibration Laboratories
The Ophir Nova or Laserstar series power meters, along with the appropriate photodiode sensors, comprise optical instrumentation we use on a daily basis for technical support and calibration of police lidar devices.

With ever increasing frequency, police agencies throughout the world are enjoying the pinpoint accuracy and reliability of laser-equipped lidar instruments for vehicle speed enforcement. Crime scene and vehicle crash reconstruction can be more easily accomplished using these devices as accurate measuring tapes and outputting their measurements to a portable data collector or palmsized computer
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