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By Chuck Reagan, Sales Engineer, Ophir (U.S.)
There are a number of valuable tools found on the Ophir web site that help lasers users determine the appropriate sensors for their laser beams. These tools also help compute power or energy density, peak and average power, laser fluence, sensor damage limits, safety, and focal spot size.

Basic Sensor Finder Program
This is our original Sensor Finder program...

Via StarLab it’s easy.

Via RS232: We do not provide RS232 commands for starting the logging on the meter, so this is not directly possible.

However, the customer can use the Simulate Key-press command to provide a virtual keypad control in order to set up and start the logging on the meter. Extracted from our “Remote Control” documentation:
 

By Gary Wagner, General Manager, Ophir (U.S.)

Additive manufacturing has restructured prototyping, development, and advanced design of mechanical components. Direct Metal Laser Melting, also known as Selective Laser Sintering or 3D Metal Printing, is quickly becoming the standard for designs that cannot be fabricated with traditional metal removal techniques. To create consistent, strong structures using laser-based additive manufacturing processes that meet flyable DOD standards or FDA requirements, the metallurgy must be...

Mark S. Szorik, Pacific Northwest Regional Sales Manager, Ophir Photonics

Since the Scientific Revolution of the 1500’s and the Industrial Revolution of the 1700’s, both science and industry have moved and merged at a rapid pace. Every time you look through a trade journal, listen to the daily news, or explore the Web, you see announcements about discoveries and inventions. Remember thinking how fantastical the technologies showcased in the movie Star Wars were? Yet today we are beginning to see some of them emerge. What was once deemed science fiction or fantasy is now becoming reality.

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Mark S. Szorik, Pacific Northwest Regional Sales Manager, Ophir Photonics

Since the late 1950’s, lasers have rapidly evolved from a somewhat simplistic physics laboratory curiosity to a complex, multifunction tool that is a mainstay in many industries and research institutions. Most of us have used laser pointers, played a game of laser tag, or seen lasers used at light shows or concerts. But few people know that lasers are also commonly used for such important applications as communications, navigation, automotive welding and cutting, general industrial, rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, analytical instruments,...

Shimon Elstein, Senior Physicist

Measuring optical signals in the femtowatt (10-15) to nanowatt (10-9) range can be a daunting task. Signal levels this low are lost in typical detector noise levels and swamped by background light. The noise floor for photodiode detectors operated with a small bandwidth (~10 Hz) is on the order of 1 picowatt (10-12). Further narrowing of the bandwidth by filtering or averaging will only provide a small additional reduction in the noise level....

Kevin Kirkham and Christian Dini, Ophir
19th century British physicist and engineer William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, was the first to say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” When applying this principle to improving laser-based processes, there are a variety of parameters that must be measured. Given the continuously rising power of laser systems in material processing, the requirements for measurement systems are more challenging than ever. Which technologies are available to measure high-power lasers? How often should they be measured? What measurements should be tracked? When this data is collected, what should be done with it?
Each sensor from Ophir includes a performance specification datasheet but not a user manual. This datasheet lists operational parameters for the sensor, including items such as spectral range, power range, aperture size, accuracy specification, etc. Copies of these datasheets for current sensors are available on the website by clicking on the “Specifications” tab of the sensor's product page...
Often we get requests for the Total Optical Path Length when beam splitters are used on our line of 4.5 mm recessed CCD cameras. For a common setup using beam splitters P/N SPZ17015 and either one or two P/N SPZ17026 here are the Total Optical Path Length and a couple of pictures showing the layout. Length 2 (From first beam splitter to second beam splitter) Length 3 (From second beam splitter to third beam splitter) Total Optical Path Length with 2 beam splitters Total Optical Path Length with 3 beam splitters...
Dick Rieley, Field Sales Engineer III, Mid-Atlantic Region, Ophir-Spiricon
The selection of an appropriate sensor to measure the power of a laser seems to be a simple and straightforward process. The sensor technology doesn’t seem to be too complex, the physical setup of the sensor seems easy enough. Yet, more often than not, the sensor turns out to NOT be the right one. As a result, inaccurate measurements are obtained, the sensor exhibits premature failure, and costly full disc replacement and recalibration are required.

...

Introduction

An integrating sphere collects electromagnetic radiation from a source usually external to the optical device, usually for flux measurement or optical attenuation. Radiation introduced into an integrating sphere strikes the reflective walls and undergoes multiple diffuse reflections. After numerous reflections, the radiation is dispersed highly uniformly at the sphere walls. The resulting integrated radiation level is directly proportional to the initial radiation level...
Derrick Peterman, PhD Ophir-Spiricon LLC

Small beams are used in many critical applications yet often they are not directly profiled. While obtaining good beam profiling data on beams under 10 μm has its challenges, they can be overcome with proven techniques.

Profiling beams under 10 μm in size is one of the more challenging beam profiling applications. There are numerous reasons for this, including the very small size. Focal plane arrays commonly used in beam profiling have pixel dimensions of 3 to 10 μm, which are too large to reasonably profile...

Introduction
Ophir Pyroelectric Energy Sensors and Photodiode Energy Sensors can measure pulse energy from pico-Joules to 10's of Joules, and up to 25kHz pulse rates. They support pulse widths from nanoseconds or below, up to 20ms. They are compatible with most Ophir Meters and PC Interfaces, including the Nova II, Vega, StarLite, StarBright, Centauri, Juno and EA-1 meters.
 
Most of the time, measurements in digital format are adequate, either in the form of measurements displayed on a screen, or data logged...

Problem: The “What’s This” feature only opens to the first page of the manual in Adobe Ready XI.
Solution...

With the introduction of BeamGage the capability of using the built in photodiode trigger in the SP camera series is now available. However, some customers may not know how to use it or that they even had this capability. 

With the recently released BeamGage version 5.4 this capability is now available. Some cameras may need to have their firmware upgraded where others just need to update to the latest version of BeamGage. To see if your camera has the latest firmware make sure you are using BeamGage 5.4 and connect your camera to the computer. Launch BeamGage and when it...

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. For best performance of the sensor, the water flow rate should be the recommended rate. If the user system is not able to reach the recommended rate, then the minimum rate can be used and the sensor will meet spec but there may be some degradation of response time and linearity...
Dick Rieley , Field Sales Engineer III, Mid-Atlantic Region, Ophir-Spiricon

The scientific community is often faced with the requirement of testing, validating, or merely qualifying several laser sources planned for a particular project.. Such testing is needed to:

  • Ensure the laser source is performing up to the manufacturer’s specification
  • Diagnose the quality and measurement aspect of the resulting beam
  • Establish a baseline of the laser’s performance to be used against future measurements to determine if the laser has degraded or otherwise shifted in its performance. 

This task puts a financial...

Kevin Kirkham, Sr. Manager, Product Development, Ophir-Spiricon

Ophir Photonics offers a number of solutions for profiling UV laser beams. Spot sizes from 0.15mm to over 25mm can be safely profiled without the risk of camera sensor damage or degradation. Laser beam analyzer accessories based on wavelength conversion materials permit spatial profile analysis of UV lasers with wavelength in the range of 193nm to 360nm.

  • Wavelengths from 190 to 360nm
  • Spot sizes from 150μm to 30mm*
  • Energy density from 50μJ/cm² to 0.6J/cm²**

* Maximum measurable spot size is 4 times the CCD...

You can now measure high average powers using moderate power sensors, using a new feature in the StarBright meter called “Pulse Power Measurement”. Thermopile sensors are often used to measure single shot pulse energy; the instrument can easily calculate instantaneous pulse power from this if it knows the pulse width (since power = pulse energy / pulse width). With the StarBright set to “Pulse Power” mode (supported from StarBright firmware version 1.30), the user enters the length of the pulse, fires the pulse, and StarBright then displays the instantaneous power...

Logging periods and limitations, both for when logging on-board the meter, and when logging on a PC with StarLab.

  1. Onboard logging with Nova II, Vega and StarBright meters: The number of measurements that can be stored is firstly limited by the amount of memory available to the meter as detailed in the catalogue table below:

    • On the Nova II (and hence its offshoot the Vega) we did set an arbitrary maximum time...

BeamGage is a multiple process application which requires local (not network or internet) port access to communicate. This allows for a great amount of flexibility when using multiple camera or multiple analyzer configurations. By default the port range in use is TCP 10100-11100. This can be reconfigured if these ports are already in use by another program or system.

BeamGage has three process types which will run. Spiricon.ConsoleService.exe is a Windows Service process that launches the connections to cameras. Spiricon....

Wavelength: In physics, the wavelength of a sinusoidal wave is the spatial period of the wave— the distance over which the wave's shape repeats,[1] and the inverse of the spatial frequency. It is usually determined by considering the distance between consecutive corresponding points of the same phase, such as crests, troughs, or zero crossings and is a characteristic of both traveling waves and standing waves, as well as other spatial wave patterns.[2][3] Wavelength is commonly designated by the Greek letter lambda (λ)...
John McCauley, Midwest Region Sales Manager, Ophir-Spiricon, LLC

Laser Information

  • Make: IPG
  • Laser Application: Laser Additive Manufacturing
  • Source: Fiber
  • Wavelength: 1070nm
  • Rated Power/Energy: 400W
  • Expected Beam / Spot Size: 70-100μm

Laser Measurement Products

Kevin Kirkham, Senior Manager, Product Development, Ophir-Spiricon, LLC

Commercially available laser beam profiling products are used throughout the world to research, develop, manufacture, and test the quality of lasers and systems that use lasers. These measurement systems are also commonly employed to test and evaluate the spatial intensity distribution of other light sources.

Laser beam profiling products are typically composed of a 2-dimensional sensor array, optical imaging and attenuation optics, and software that displays, analyzes, and records the visual representations of the distribution of light for measurement,...

Kristen Winterton, Calibration Technician, Ophir-Spiricon LLC

A quote attributed to Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, states that change is the only constant in life. Change often comes as a surprise and is seen as a painful part of life; however, that is not always the case. At Ophir-Spiricon we believe that change can be positive. We continuously look for ways that we can improve the customer experience, and often, we succeed.

One of our customers, Inter-Coastal Electronics, recently sent equipment to us for recalibration. Their buyer shared her experience with us and...

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