Lasers are certainly changing ways that our soldiers and sailors are neutralizing their targets. It is a rapidly emerging technology sector that is allowing our armies and navies to operate more efficiently during conflicts.
These weapons are precise in their accuracy and can be adjusted for lethal or non-lethal doses. They are silent weapons which deliver rounds at the speed of light. They provide unlimited ammunition and are, in some cases, less expensive to operate compared to conventional weapons.
However, because these weapons employ multi-kilowatt laser light, the development and in-field operation of the lasers come with the same challenges that any high-powered laser application comes with, only multiplied. Thermal effects on laser system components become more of a factor when considering the short and long term performance of the laser system.
In addition, beam control must be given more of a consideration during the development of these weapons systems. Determining the most efficient way to destroy a target, while not destroying anything else in the process, is the ultimate goal.
Ophir has been developing laser performance analysis solutions and beam dump products for over 40 years. The recently development of products which handle tens and even hundreds of kilowatts of laser light has allowed for the continued development of laser-based weapons systems to be more accurate and safe.
High power laser application has significantly increased in recent years due to new production techniques that enable cheaper manufacturing and operating costs. Applications of high-power lasers that seemed exotic a few years ago are now considered routine in material processing and micromachining. Read more >
Ophir water cooled sensors are designed to measure high powers in a relatively compact package. In order for the sensor to operate properly, the water flow rate, temperature and temperature stability have to be in the right range. Read more >
High power laser systems are making their way into more and more industrial applications. From cutting steel, to drilling via holes in silicon, to marking plastic, a whole range of processes now make use of the laser to produce results not previously practical. Read more >
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: Read more >