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Dr. Efi Rotem, Ophir Photonics CTO


Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs) are a type of semiconductor laser diode. Unlike edge emitting laser diodes, VCSELs emit upwards and thus can be easily packaged as emitter arrays containing hundreds of emitters on a single chip.

Other characteristics of VCSELs:

VCSELs were first used in the telecom industry, and today are widely used as light...

Derrick Peterman, Northern California Sales Manager, Ophir

Lasers are increasingly deployed in manufacturing applications, being pushed to higher and higher output powers and smaller and smaller beam sizes to work faster and with higher precision. Determining the beam profile at the beam focus of these lasers is critical to verify and improve manufacturing product quality. However, there are enormous challenges that must be overcome to capture the beam profiling data.

Consider profiling a 150 micron beam at focus from a 4 kW laser. The power per...

Kristen WInterton, Calibration Supervisor, Ophir

For many people, it isn't clear why there is a need for calibration of measurement equipment. These laser users are not fully aware what the calibration process entails and how it can save them money, time, and frustration.

Ophir's laser measurement products are used throughout the world in many different areas, from medical and scientific processes to defense and industrial applications. With each application there are different usage parameters. However, one thing that remains...

Interfaces for laser measurement technology

All the talk about digitization and ‘big data’ has made manufacturers aware of the increasing advantages of digitizing their production processes. Not only can it improve the quality of the products themselves, it can also significantly reduce downtimes and optimize production overall. At the heart of the matter is the collection and storage of measurement data during processing. As a producer of measurement technology for...

Messer Cutting Systems uses Ophir BeamWatch for non-contact measurement of the laser beam

Precise cuts, sophisticated component geometries, limited material melt – the advantages of laser cutting are numerous. And due to the steady increases in laser power, these advantages can now benefit a range of new applications: fusion cutting is more attractive for structural steel, and thinner materials can be cut significantly faster and more efficiently than ever. These advancements are...

By Christian Dini, Director, Global Business Development, Ophir

Germany is said to be an automotive nation, but who can say whether e-mobility will ever establish a foothold here? Championed by politicians, contested by scientists – the future of the automobile is a subject of hot debate in Germany. In the meantime, China is leading the market for electric cars and US start-ups have completely changed the approach for building a car. Wherever the road will lead, one thing is for sure – the latest automotive manufacturing processes and e-mobility technologies are tightly linked to laser...

Laser System
Fiber laser source

  • 1070nm
  • 600μm fiber
  • CW
  • 1 KW max average power

5-axis movement
Class 1 workstation
125mm focusing lens

Fiber Laser
Figure 1. Profiling setup
By John McCauley Midwest Regional Sales Engineer, the Ophir Photonics Group

American author, engineer, entrepreneur, and consultant in performance improvement H. James Harrington has been credited as saying, “Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement. If you can't measure something, you can't understand it. If you can't understand it, you can't control it. If you can't control it, you can't improve it.”

Even though Harrington was speaking specifically of improving of the quality in a person’s work performance, the same is true for...

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...

“The right tool for the right job” is a maxim many professionals use for selecting and using the correct tools for an exact application. Perhaps that is a good new year’s resolution if you do not already live by that rule. Ophir’s products are precision scientific instruments, with world-class acceptance, reliability, and accuracy. We seek to provide you the exact tool for your application and we help you maintain that tool for its lifetime. If you own a reliable sensor and meter that has lasted many years, we...

We recently came across an interesting customer problem, in which every time he disconnected the Fiber Optics connector from the adapter (that is mounted on the sensor) and then reconnected it, the power read about 50-100 uW higher than it did (nothing else changed). It then took about 10 minutes to slowly come back down to what it had been. After an investigation, we found that the increase in reading when disconnecting/reconnecting the fiber connector is a thermal effect, and not a technical flaw in the unit. If you experience something...

Recalibration and Repair is dedicated to improving processes and procedures to provide quality service to Ophir’s customers. The company is currently pursuing several objectives, including ISO 17025 international certification to signify competence in calibration laboratory techniques and certification documents.
Additionally, Recalibration and Repair has made great progress in cutting lead time, from a lead time of 25 days four years...

By Christian Dini, Director Global Business Development, Ophir

When we developed BeamWatch AM, we not only drew diagrams and thought about great features, we also talked to
experienced manufacturers of selective laser melting (SLM) machines about issues they needed to address and
parameters they were interested in. Bit by bit, we created a measuring device that is compact, fast, and delivers a
precise view of the laser beam. During the final stage of development, the German Fraunhofer Research Institution for
Additive Manufacturing Technologies (IAPT), one of several beta sites,...

Mark Szorik, Sr. Sales Territory Manager, Ophir Products

Lasers have been around for over 65 years. Since they were first conceived, many different industries and institutions have actively and routinely pursued ways of embedding these unique devices into various processes, systems, and end use applications. One of the greatest strengths that lasers have over standard processing tools and other light sources is their capability to accomplish exotic tasks that are beyond those of tradition tools.

Initially, lasers were somewhat simple devices...

Ophir offers a "special calibration" service so the customer can be provided with higher calibration accuracy than the standard catalog accuracy.

Thermal Sensors – Power
A typical catalog calibration accuracy is given below where the power uncertainty (2 sigma) is listed as ±3% and the linearity variation is given separately as ±1% .


Calibration of Ophir L50(300)A-IPL sensor for use with IPL sources

The Ophir L50(300)A-IPL energy sensor shown above when used in GEL mode is designed to measure the energy output of IPL type sources coupled to the patient's skin with optical index matching gel. The sensor has a large Ø65mm aperture with a glass window having an antireflection coating on...

Customer Service Department, Ophir Optronics

Very often, a laser spec gives a range of values for various parameters – “Power from X to Y, Beam Diameter from…to…,” and so on. Now we need to measure the laser beam and we need to choose the right sensor. Let’s say the laser spec says:

  • Pulse energy: 1mJ – 100J
  • Pulse rate: 1Hz – 1KHz

We might be cautious and look for a sensor that can handle all of those numbers...but wait. 100J pulses at 1KHz – that...

Customer Service Department, Ophir Photonics


  1. Our recommendation for cooling water is to use (in a closed circuit) deionized (“DI”) water, with its pH level kept neutral.

Many customers use ordinary tap water and have no problems with corrosion. Still, the level of risk depends on a variety of factors related to local water conditions and is very difficult to predict. That is why our recommendation is to use DI water.

For users who follow...

Mark Slutzki, Product Manager, Ophir Optronics

Ophir has a number of sensors which utilize Pulsed Power measurements. This mode enables quick and easy measurements of high power lasers with small air cooled sensors. The most advanced sensor in this category is the Helios, a specially designed sensor for the industrial environment which measures pulse widths, calculates the power of the laser, and interfaces...

Dell Olsen, Customer Service Manager, Ophir

Ophir has been blessed to have customers who have been patient and helped us find and fix some difficulties with the NanoScan™ software. We are pleased to announce that due to the feedback and help of our customers, we have significantly improved the NanoScan software.

Some of the key features include:

  • All NanoScans that have been made or...
Mark Slutzki, Product Manager, Ophir Optronics

There are around 130 different types of power and energy sensors available from Ophir. Each sensor has unique performance specifications for optimal measurement with various laser power and energy measurement applications, whether it is CW or pulsed; low or high power and energy; visible, UV or IR…etc. How can you know which sensor will provide the required measurement resolution and work for a particular application, while avoiding risk of being damaged?

Ophir provides a...

David K. Moser, M.Sc. Physics - Optical Engineer & Jed Simmons, Ph.D. - Physicist

This document is intended to show how the process of obtaining data and providing measurements using Ophir-Spiricon’s Rayleigh-scatter beam profiling technology, BeamWatch®, aligns with standards established in ISO 11146.

New Rayleigh-Scatter Technology
All BeamWatch models apply the same approach to provide non-interfering real-time beam measurement...

Kevin Kirkham, Senior Manager, Product Development, Ophir (U.S.)

The dynamic parts of a laser beam profile are often caused by distortions or noise from camera sources or optical distortions from dirty filters or beam splitters. These dynamics can be removed with low pass filters. BeamGage, Ophir's next-generation laser beam analysis software, contains a processing feature located on the Capture tab called CONVOLUTION. Convolution Matrix or Kernel image processing can be used as a smoothing or blurring feature to remove the fast changes or dynamics from the beam profile. Here's how....

David K. Moser, M.Sc. Physics - Optical Engineer & Jed Simmons, Ph.D. - Physicist

Industry-Focused Design

BeamWatch AM is the newest member of Ophir-Spiricon’s family of beam monitoring systems. It has been designed specifically for use in the additive manufacturing industry to provide non-interfering real-time beam measurement at the location of the working plane. Rigorous testing has been performed to ensure it meets the specifications detailed in Table 1 to the right.

Rayleigh-Scatter Technology


All absorbers used in power/energy measurement are not entirely flat spectrally, that is, they vary in absorption with wavelength. For this reason, Ophir measuring heads are usually calibrated at more than one wavelength. If the absorption changes only slightly with wavelength, then we define wavelength regions such as <600nm, >600nm and give a calibration within these regions. In that case, the error in measurement between the wavelength the device was calibrated for and the measurement wavelength is assumed to be within the primary...


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