Take a minute to understand how useful Ophir’s new Beam Track sensor really is. The Beam Track sensor indicates beam size and location as well as beam power and energy, and it’s in the same price range as ordinary power and energy sensors. Ephraim Greenfield, CTO at Ophir photonics, writes about the convenience of using the Beam Track sensor:
At Ophir’s development laboratory we have been developing a new fast thermal sensor. This sensor is sensitive to power density and to measure the dependence on power density, we have to measure the beam waist of the Gaussian beam at various beam sizes and various powers.
We were doing the measurements at 5 – 100W on a CO2 laser. We used a diverging lens to produce different beam sizes at different distances from the lens. How to measure the beam size at each point? We were using a variable circular iris and closing it down till we saw 86.5% of the power – this is the 1/e2 point and thus the beam waist diameter. This is exceedingly difficult to do accurately. You have to make sure the invisible beam is accurately centered on the aperture and you have to have the iris open exactly the right amount and all this with a power density that can make the iris glow red hot.
After the new 150W BeamTrack sensor was available, I immediately enlisted it to do this measurement and in a few minutes instead of several hours, had a more accurate measurement of the same data. All I had to do is place the sensor at the correct distance, center the beam on it using its beam centering capability and read the beam diameter.
Please feel free to comment and add things you have on your list
You might also like to read: The easy way to measure the important things about your laser