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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...

John McCauley, Product Specialist, Ophir Photonics Group

I recently had an opportunity to give a presentation to the 8th grade science classes in the local Greenwood Indiana school district near where I live. We talked about lasers and I was amazed at the different applications they came up with on their own. Their reactions to the different ways lasers are being used were equally amazing. It’s encouraging to see the next generation interested in such a promising industry. With 2015 being the International Year of Light, this is a great time for those who are working with...

Mark Slutzki, Product Manager, Ophir

If you need to measure your laser beam’s power or energy, but the usual cable connection between the sensor and the meter is not practical, Ophir’s Quasar may be the right solution for you.

Quasar is a wireless PC interface that connects a sensor to a PC by Bluetooth, a proven and popular interface. Using the Quasar enables working in environments where cables are not an option, for example, in areas that are supposed to be sealed, such as a high power measurement chamber, a...

Dick Rieley, Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic Region, Ophir (U.S.)

When applications call for beam diagnostics in the SWIR spectral range, specifically the 1.5μm region, there are two practical options available: a phosphor-coated CCD camera or an InGaAs array camera. Here is where it may seem that the decision is easily reached, but it is the wrong solution.

Phosphor-coated CCD array cameras, although they may be reasonably inexpensive, possess significant measurement and imaging limitations. InGaAs array cameras can be more expensive, however, the...

Corrosion Report 

Symptoms and Recommendations

Through the last several years in the calibration lab, we have seen an increase in the number of sensors that are being processed that have excessive corrosion. This corrosion typically presents itself in the form of “pitting” in the internal chambers, and is frequently characterized by the presence of films and build up in the internal chambers. In Figure 1, you can see...

Ephraim Shafner, R&D Engineer

By Christian Dini, Director, Global Business Development, Ophir

High-end laser systems usually undergo meticulous testing right up until commissioning. However, this close monitoring often stops once the systems are put into production. This is where enormous optimization potentials, both economical and ecological, lie ripe for the picking.

In the past few decades, production processes – particularly in manufacturing...

Join us at Laser World of Photonics, , June 26-29, 2017, in Munich, to see our complete line of laser beam profiling and power / energy measurement systems. We'll be in the MKS booth, along with Newport and Spectra-Physics, Hall A2, Booth 209. Here's a sneak peak at several new products that will be introduced at the show...

By Kevin Kirkham, Senior Manager, Product Development, Ophir

“What’s dynamic range anyway?” or “Why is it so important to state it right?”

By the end of this article you’ll be fully exposed to the importance of stating your dynamic range correctly and will get a quick lesson about how Ophir-Spiricon, a global leader in precision infrared optics and photonics instrumentation, determines its...

By Dick Reiley, Sales Manager, Mid-Atlantic Region, Ophir

When working with exotic optical wavelengths and unusually low average powers, relying on one standard measurement technology is typically not sufficient. Each technology can offer advantages, but also has limitations. Using multiple measurement technologies is often the best approach to validate results with a level of high confidence.

In nuclear magnetic resonance...

By Chuck Reagan, Sales Engineer, Ophir

You may be wondering what to expect when you ask us for a laser beam profiling demo. Here's how it works.

Step 1: Exchange Information

Our first objective is to learn more about you, your laser, and your application. We may start with the question, "Why do you want a demonstration?" People have different reasons. Here's what we often hear from customers:

  • You are curious about the mode or...

By Kevin Kirkham, Senior Manager, Product Development, Ophir

Sensor: "A device that detects or measures a physical property and records, indicates, or otherwise responds to it.” A sensor is a device that detects a physical quantity and responds by transmitting a signal.

Fusion: "The process or result of joining two or more things together to form a single entity.” A blending, amalgamation,...

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...


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