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What’s a Laser Power Sensor Damage Threshold?

We talk about damage threshold all the time, but the truth is – like anything – this needs to be clearly defined.

Perhaps as long as we can get a reading of some sort we should classify the laser power meter as “undamaged.” Or maybe the tiniest scratch or discoloring should be considered damage – even if it doesn’t affect the power reading at all.

I don’t know if there’s an international consensus on the level a laser power head must be damaged to render it “past the damage threshold,” but Ophir defines this term very clearly:

The damage threshold is the level at which the reading changes by more than 1%, after one hour of exposure.

So when your laser power sensor declares a damage threshold of 7kW/cm2, it’s telling you that Ophir tested the head and found that any damage occurring below an average power density of 7kW/cm2 is either purely cosmetic or affects the power reading by less than 1%.

Did you find this helpful? Let me know in the comments.

You might also like to read: Caution: Lasers Can Seriously Damage Instruments

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