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Choosing the best profiler for a laser is a complex process. There is no one profiler available that works with all lasers because of all the factors involved. Here we'd like to help you begin figuring out what to focus on when doing laser profiler shopping (window or otherwise). First of all, keep in mind that there are two main types of profilers used today:
 

  • Array/camera based profilers and (array is a general term for camera-types of technology where pixels are used to capture an...
Just knowing the beam profile can make the difference between success and failure of a process...

By Jeffrey L. Guttman, PhD, Director of Engineering, and Allen M. Cary, Sales & Marketing Manager, Ophir-Photon LLC

The beam profiler magnification calibration involves measuring spot centroids for known beam position translations. This can be done either by moving the profiler or moving the spot. The former method is preferred since the profiler with magnification is usually mounted to a high quality 3-axis translation stage. For a 25x or greater magnification it is recommended to use a stage...

By Jeffrey L. Guttman, Ph.D., Director of Engineering, Ophir-Spiricon

Abstract: The Mode-Field Diameter (MFD) and “spot size” of an assortment of lensed and tapered specialty fibers were determined from far...

Ophir Photonics uses pyroelectric detectors in a number of their products, both for beam profiling and for laser power measurement. The Photon and Spiricon brands are laser beam profilers based on scanning slit or array technologies; Ophir brand products are laser power measurement instruments.
 
Spiricon Pyrocam III
The Pyrocam™ III is a...

There is a fair amount of confusion caused by the reporting of dynamic range of beam profilers. The purpose of this applications note is to explain some of the terminology used in the discussion of this parameter by both Ophir- Spiricon and other suppliers of beam profilers.
 
Definition
Dynamic Range is the ratio of the largest measurable signal to the smallest measurable signal. The smallest measurable signal is typically defined as that equal to the noise level, or alternatively the “Noise...

The need to profile lasers with powers in the 10mW to 1W range are becoming more common. Many of these lasers are in the visible spectrum, allowing them to be measured with CCD and CMOS camera systems. As with any laser that is being measured with a camera array, the beam needs to be attenuated, but there are some cautions to be observed. These beams are not so powerful that they will damage or destroy typical absorptive filters. In fact, it is possible to stack up a sufficient optical density to reduce the power of a 1W laser to the nW...

By Allen Cary, Director of Marketing, Ophir-Spiricon

Measuring the propagation parameters of a laser beam is an important method of understanding the quality of the laser beam and predicting its performance for various laser applications. For this reason, it is one of the major specifications required by laser users and reported by laser manufacturers. Ophir-Spiricon has been a leader in providing instruments dedicated to this important measurement. There are currently three different instruments...

By Dick Rieley, Mid-Altantic Regional Sales Manager, Ophir Photonics Group

A research organization was developing a critical procedure that required a pulsed DUV laser beam at 193nm. The current equipment only produced a gray-scale image that told little about the distribution of the energy intensity across the beam profile. The solution was a CCD camera-based profiler.

Background
The organization was developing a new...

By Allen M. Cary, Jeffrey L. Guttman, Razvan Chirita, Derrick W. Peterman, Photon Inc

A new instrument design allows the M² beam propagation ratio to be measured in real time at the update rate of a standard CCD camera. This allows lasers from single shot to CW to be measured while the laser cavities are being adjusted. This drastically reduces the test time required for this operation. In this paper we will discuss the theory behind this innovative approach to the M²...

By John McCauley, Midwest Sales Manager, Ophir-­Spiricon

The New Year is a time to look back on the past year and contemplate how to do things better. It’s a time to make New Year’s resolutions in an effort to be a better person and do things better. One of the most common and popular New Year’s resolutions is the renewed commitment to losing weight. As many of us are all too familiar with, that means eating better and getting...

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

W. Edwards Deming said, "If you can't measure it, you can't control it," and "You cannot inspect quality into the product; it is already there." Instead of trying to inspect-in quality, focus on adding value once you're assured that the previous process was done right and to specification.
 
Since the mid-1980's, tens of thousands of machine vision camera systems have been installed along...

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

A recent application called for the beam analysis of a 1550nm laser source with a challenging optical arrangement. Signal loss occurred at each beam transfer across multiple reflective surfaces. A more sensitive camera with Frame Summing was required to bring out the full beam pattern, size, and depth.
The 1550nm laser source was measured...

By John McCauley, Product Specialist, Ophir-Spiricon

There is no doubt that the application of the fiber laser source has changed the way laser users look at the use of lasers. Fiber lasers are used in processes too numerous to count and people are discovering new uses every day.

We’ve heard for several years about the high quality beams that the fiber laser produces. Laser quality is usually defined by an M2 measurement. The closer the M2 measurement is to the value of 1, the better the...

By G.E. Slobodzian, Director of Engineering, Retired, Ophir-Spiricon

Part 1: New Camera Technologies

Part 2: Baseline Methods and Mode Effects

In Part 2, we demonstrated the need for employing an accurately computed baseline and retaining both the positive and...

By G.E. Slobodzian, Director of Engineering, Retired, Ophir-Spiricon

Methodology
Part 2 of this paper examines the effects of baseline caused errors in beam width measurements using the four most common methods for calculating a beam width:

  • D4σ, second moment
  • 13.5% of Peak, using the moving slit method
  • 86.5% encircled power smallest aperture (Power...
In 1997, Dr. Carlos Roundy, founder and president of Spiricon Inc., presented a paper at the 4th International Workshop on Lasers and Optics Characterization in Munich Germany. This paper was based on work that was carried out at Spiricon in the mid 90’s. At the time new insights were being presented on how to characterize a laser beam. Previous definitions were somewhat simplistic and most often were driven by customers telling us how they wanted the beam measured.

We recently came across an interesting customer problem, in which every time he disconnected the FO 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 like this,...

“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 congratulate you for carefully protecting your...

Occasionally it is not possible to measure a laser system directly using StarLab. This can be because the laser system is in a controlled environment where a computer is unable to be installed. The Vega handheld meter can store up to 10 log files into its onboard memory containing up to 5,400 samples each for a total of 54,000 samples. Then the meter can be interfaced to a computer running StarLab to upload the files later.

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...

I am a fifth year graduate student, working in the Saykally group at the University of California Berkeley. My research focuses on investigating air/water interfaces using second harmonic generation, a surface selective nonlinear optical technique. We are interested in investigating the microscopic structure of the air/water interface, as well as the effect of aqueous electrolytes on this interface. Our laser system includes a home built Ti:Sapphire oscillator and a commercial amplifier.
 
The oscillator can be a bit finicky...

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:

 

 

Measuring the power of scanning lasers, such bar code scanners, presents a problem. A bar code laser beam scans back and forth at a very high frequency so any ordinary photodiode power meter will not measure the power in the beam but rather the average power impinging on it, i.e. the power times the fraction of time the beam is on the detector. Therefore, when exposed to a scanned beam, the reading will be much lower than the actual power in the beam. For example, if a scanning laser delivers 2mW to a photodiode sensor and the beam is on the sensor only 1% of...

What happens when you have an application that requires a specific sensor with respect to technology and mechanical applications? You know that a standard Ophir sensor works, but you want to tweak the specification and mechanical size a little to fit your application. You call your Ophir representative and ask about OEM sensors.
 
Recently, a customer called and asked these exact questions. Knowing that Ophir has OEM prototypes available, the customer asked to evaluate the OEM thermal sensor 20C-UA. His power requirements at...

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