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Measure Very High Power Lasers with a Small Air-Cooled Sensor – Now Supported by Centauri

If you have any experience monitoring lasers of varying powers, you should be familiar with the basic categories of thermal sensors:

  • Small, air-cooled sensors for low powers (1~100 W)
  • Medium sized, fan-cooled sensors for mid-range power levels (50~500 W)
  • Large, water-cooled sensors for high powers (300 W and above)

Ophir decided to break this pattern with a deceptively simple trick.
Everyone would love to measure high power sources with small sensors that don’t need a water hookup.

So why not allow this?

After much experimentation and testing, Ophir found that very high (kilowatt level) laser powers can be measured with a much smaller sensor, provided a limited exposure time.

Once this was confirmed, the last remaining tweak was to ensure the power meter display could translate short pulse exposures (e.g., 1 second on, 10 seconds off) to display the peak power rather than the average power. This feature is called “Pulsed Power” and is now supported by Centauri, Ophir’s fully featured power meter.

For more information on how the “Pulsed Power” feature works, read Pulsed Power Measurements by Ophir Product Manager Mark Slutzki.

You can update to the latest Centauri firmware here.

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