Beam Profiler FAQ’s



In terms of breakthroughs, there are many hidden in the software architecture, but they are exciting only for the ardent software geek. The remaining beam analysis breakthroughs have mostly been functional.

It took years for the total vision of BeamGage to emerge. The system is the result of lessons learned from several predecessor systems. The constant need to interface new camera technology with different types of analysis tools, forced us to realize that analyzers and sources must be able to evolve independently of one another and on top of a solid video transport backbone. The BeamGage effort was all about creating the “Next Generation Profiler” (and sneaking a much-needed video transport backbone passed the bean counters, don’t tell anyone!).

The first real breakthrough was recognizing the need for a beam analysis system that was self validating. The system would validate against theoretical beams and adhere tightly to the ISO specification.

Second was the realization that data sources (cameras, files, and synthetic beams) should be treated by the analyzer in a symmetric fashion, the analyzer not knowing how to distinguish between them. In other words, the data sources are interchangeable and the analyzers compute results on theoretical beams and real beams in the exact same way.

Third was the realization that sources should be location transparent. In other words, the location on the network where video data is collected should be independent (or transparent) of the location where data is analyzed.

Forth was the realization that computer processors are not going to scale up in clock cycle speed as quickly as they will begin to scale up in number of CPUs per chip. A modern video analysis system should be designed to take advantage of multiples CPU cores. BeamGage has done this!


Multi-machine, multi-camera users can use BeamGage to throw enough hardware at a problem to get the job done. This is one of the market “sectors” that has not been addressed by previous beam analysis systems. Laser manufactures, government agencies, and large corporations should love this feature as it will support the notion of networking to centralize control rooms and automation systems that make use of BeamGage's new (and replete) automation interface. The custom computational package feature described above should target many new niche markets. Many scientists process video data or compute new results from the information provided by beam analysis systems. They don't want to invest in a massive amount of effort interfacing cameras and writing complicated user interfaces. BeamGage has made it easy for them to do their custom computations but still use all the facilities of BeamGage to manage those results. We are really hoping this “round hole” can accommodate more of the disenfranchised “square pegs” out there.

BeamGage will be a big plus to users that want to sample optical paths in more than one location simultaneously.

Those that align two or more beams or an array of fibers will greatly benefit from partitioning features.

All users will enjoy the rich 2D/3D beam rendering and expanded computation, pass/fail, and statistics features.


Going forward, Ophir-Spiricon will be able to add new video analysis applications on top of the existing video backbone, allowing instant use of all camera technologies wired to the backbone. Any new cameras added to the system will immediately be available to all analyzers built on the backbone. This capability will lower the development and maintenance costs of analyzers and cameras, and open the door for more innovation on the analysis side of that backbone.


BeamGage is the industry's first beam profiling software to be newly designed, from scratch, using the most advanced tools and technologies. It took years for the total vision to emerge. BeamGage is the result of lessons learned from several predecessor systems. The constant need to interface new camera technology with different types of analysis tools forced us to realize that beam analysis software and sources must be able to evolve independent of one another and on top of a solid video transport backbone. The BeamGage effort was ALL about creating the "next generation laser beam profiler."

The first real breakthrough was recognizing the need for a beam analysis system that was self validating. (A method for users that need to know the difference between theoretical accuracy and measured accuracy; specifically, for anyone needing to validate measurements like laser manufacturers and regulatory users.) BeamGage needed to validate against theoretical beams and also adhere tightly to the ISO specification.

BeamGage includes an innovative utility, BeamMaker, which permits BeamGage to mathematically analyze synthetically generated beam profiles in the same way it would analyze real beam profiles. With BeamMaker, you can create synthetic profiles in virtually any camera frame format. Simulations can be done of width, height, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16... bit digitizers, as well as many other features like modal content, and noise and background effects. This opens up many reference beam processing options never available in the industry. Now a user can know the exact theoretically expected measurement, system induced error, and the difference between the theoretical and actual measurement.


BeamGage uses industry standard Microsoft Windows technology and is fully compatible with most desktop or laptop PC's. Laser beam images are brought into the PC using a camera with a standard USB or Firewire interface.

BeamGage is the first fully scalable beam analysis system. Any number of cameras can be viewed/analyzed/controlled from any number of networked machines, simultaneously. This gives the user the ability leverage large amounts of hardware power (RAM, CPU, storage and networks) to solve more complex video analysis problems. It has even been optimized to allow local-machine analysis clients to run uninhibited by the slower cross-network clients.

BeamGage is the first system to implement true multi-client functionality. This allows the user to launch any number of analyzers that subscribe to a single camera source and partition the detector data for area of interest based analysis. In other words, you can analyze any number of spatially-separated beams on the same detector or compute different results on overlapping regions.


One of the advantages for building software products on Microsoft technology is long-term viability, support, and user acceptance. Therefore, BeamGage is not likely to become obsolete in the near future. It should have a life of at least 8-10years.


We expect BeamGage to open several very important doors that were not available until this product.

  1. Laser manufacturers knowledge for future laser advancements. With BeamMaker, the user can synthetically generate theoretical beam conditions to learn what can be accomplished versus what is being accomplished.
  2. Beam analysis can now be performed on multiple beams at one time. This serves the communication industry using multiple fiber bundles and also the high temperature, high energy research community doing multiple laser based fusion experiments.
  3. Data distribution via the Internet BeamGage is location independent. Now a user no longer has to be in the same location as the experiment. Both the data collection and the data handling can be remote and managed using browser technology.
  4. Academic research advancements BeamGage also supports custom computational packages. Users can now easily input their own algorithmic packages into BeamGage for custom computations.

BeamGage is the first ground-up beam profiling development in 10 years. A complete rewrite, it has: a) capitalized on the latest technology advancements including client/server, Internet, and Windows tools advancements, and b) taken all the lessons learned from beam profiling users and extended proven ISO techniques to support all the new ways the laser manufacturers and user communities are innovating with lasers.


Yes, depending on the camera. If it's USB or FireWire, it will only require a license key that may or may not need to be purchased depending on when you ordered the camera. The only USB cameras that will not work with BeamGage are the rare LBA-USB-L230, L130, or L070 cameras. If you camera uses a frame grabber card it will not work with BeamGage. BeamGage will not support the legacy frame grabber cards.


The ability to export ASCII data from BeamGage was recently added in the newest version 5.3. You can download it by following the link below. We also added the ability to export data in a number of different image formats.
Exporting ASCII or Image Data from BeamGage can be done by doing the following:

  1. Open BeamGage and select your Data Source from the Source ribbon bar.
  2. Click on the Logging ribbon bar and select the data you want to export from the Data section. Hint: the ASCII data is the icon that looks like a folder with the letters abcd on it.
  3. If you want to export images select the image formats from either the 2D Image or 3D Image section.
  4. In the Logging Controls section select how you would like to log the data as well as logging the data if you are using pass fail criteria.
  5. In the File Set section click on black down arrow in the white box and select Browse to browse to where you would like to export the data to.
  6. Give it a name and click Save. This name will now show up in the white drop down list.
  7. To the right of this box is an icon that looks like a black exclamation mark inside of a yellow triangle over the top of a folder. Click this to turn on the Logging function.
  8. When you click the BeamGage Start button that looks like a blue circle with the play symbol in it will start logging data.



Since its introduction mid-2009 there have been a several update releases of BeamGage. For someone that was an early adaptor we highly recommend you go to our web site and download the latest version; its FREE! Not only will you be getting a version that has several new features but, and more importantly, we have taken many of the issues reported by our customers through our customer service group and the Microsoft error report process and fixed them in subsequent updates.


Windows 7 contains a new set of 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller drivers. For some unknown reason these drivers will not communicate with the Pyrocam III. When the Pyrocam III is plugged into a Windows 7 computer nothing happens. No indication can be found that the Pyrocam III is plugged into the computer. The problem lies with the new OHCI Compliant Host Controller driver. 

The solution is to replace the default "Texas Instruments 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller" with the "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)". 

To replace the default Texas Instruments 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller:

  • Open up Control Panel. Switch the View by in the upper right corner to Large Icons. Click on Device Manager.
  • Click the arrow next to "IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers".
  • Right-click on the 1394 port you wish to "fix", select Update Driver…
  • The Hardware Update Wizard is displayed. Select "Browse my computer for driver software" .
  • Select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".
  • Select "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)". Click the Next> button.
  • When the Microsoft driver is installed, click the Close button.
  • You should now see the Pyrocam III listed under Imaging devices.

There are two possible solutions:

  • Roll back from Adobe Reader X to Adobe Reader 9. Since eventually you will need to update Adobe Reader 9 to a later edition we do not recommend this as the preferred solution.
  • The cause of the problem has been traced to a new security feature in Reader X. As of this writing Adobe has not recognized that this addition has caused a problem with linked bookmarks. As a result they have not offered a better solution than the one that we have figured out on our own. To enable What's This help to operate correctly make the following change to the Properties section in Adobe Reader X:
    • Open Adobe Reader X
    • On the Menu bar click on Edit
    • Click on Preferences…
    • In the Categories list click on General
    • Uncheck the Enable Protected Mode at startup item, and answer Yes
    • Click OK

On some computers the Pyrocam III does not register properly and Windows tries to use the wrong driver. This creates a problem in the Windows Device Manager and keeps the Pyrocam III from showing up in BeamGage. To fix this do the following: Enter the Windows Device Manager and locate the Pyrocam III with the Yellow Triangle next to it. Right click on the Pyrocam III and select Uninstall. Click on the computer name at the top of the Device Manager tree. Click on Action then Scan for hardware changes. The Pyrocam III will show up again, but without the Yellow Triangle. Now when you start BeamGage it will show up.


Note; this answer applies to new Pyrocam III's that are shipped with BeamGage software or have been upgraded to work with BeamGage software. If a Pyrocam III is not licensed to work with BeamGage software, then the license needs to purchased and the Pyrocam III will need to be upgraded first. 

The Pyrocam III uses the 1394a 400MBS protocol, but will operate as a 1394b 800MBS interface card, however it will revert still to the 1394a 400MBS protocol. 

The Pyrocam III with BeamGage also uses a separately installed device driver which may not install and operate correctly at first. 

Note for Windows 7. Windows 7 contains a new set of 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller drivers that will not communicate with the Pyrocam III. When the Pyrocam III is plugged into a Windows 7 computer nothing happens. No indication can be found that the Pyrocam III is plugged into the computer. The problem lies with the new OHCI Compliant Host Controller driver. 

The solution is to replace the default "Texas Instruments 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller" with the "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)". 

To replace the default Texas Instruments 1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller:

  • Open up Control Panel. Switch the View by in the upper right corner to Large Icons. Click on Device Manager.
  • Click the arrow next to "IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers".
  • Right-click on the 1394 port you wish to "fix", select Update Driver…
  • The Hardware Update Wizard is displayed. Select "Browse my computer for driver software" .
  • Select "Let me pick from a list of device drivers on my computer".
  • Select "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)". Click the Next> button.
  • When the Microsoft driver is installed, click the Close button.

The Pyrocam III Camera Driver Installation version 1.0 is available from our web address; 

We recommend that you right mouse click on the Setup.exe and "Run as Administrator". 

If the Pyrocam III Camera Driver Installation version 1.0 doesn't work to install the Pyrocam3Wdf.sys driver properly, you may have to do the following; 

Go to the Device Manager and with the Pyrocam III connected you should see it (probably) listed under Imaging Devices with a yellow exclamation error mark. Right click on it and select Update Driver Software… 

Do not install automatically. Do install from a list. Do not search, but do install from a specific location. 

Select Browse my computer for driver software and then select Browse to C:\Program Files\Spiricon\PyrocamKMDF\ and it will install the correct driver from there. 


The most common problem we see with BeamGage software installations are that the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 is not installed completely or correctly. Make sure all of the available Windows updates are installed and also that the Microsoft .NET Framework 4 is installed and fully updated by running Windows Update.

The second most common problem are attempts to install the BeamGage software when the log-on account is not an Administrator level account on the computer. For Windows 7 we recommend right clicking on the Setup.exe file and selecting Run as Administrator. Don't click on the other files on the installation CD as the Setup.exe file looks at your computer to see what additional components may be required to install the BeamGage software.

The third most common problem we see is when the BeamGage software is downloaded from the web page and attempts are tried to run the installation from inside the downloaded zipped file. Make sure you unzip the file to a folder on your desktop and then enter the folder and run the Setup.

The fourth most common problem we see is IT departments setting security settings tight enough that Anti-Virus or Fire Wall programs block the installation of BeamGage so it will not correctly complete the installation.

The fifth most common problem we see is on laptops using a built in web cam. This is typically revealed when you try to launch BeamGage and get an error that states the Spiricon Console Service is not installed on the computer. If you do not receive this same error when you try to run Beam Maker, uninstall your web cam software and it should resolve this error.


When doing an Ultracal to zero the baseline of the camera it is very important that you do not block the input of the camera. Instead you should block just the source. This way the camera can zero out any electronic and/or optical noise that may be getting to the detector so you are measuring just the source and not plus or minus a background shift that may occur when you uncover the input of the camera. This may require that you optimize the sampling/attenuation on the front of the camera so it blocks out the optical noise that the camera may pick up that would change the baseline.


With laptops being ever so more popular in the work place these days most of them are coming equipped with a built in web cams. These built in web cams most commonly use a Microsoft Direct Show driver which is the same driver used by the Ophir-Spiricon SP line of USB cameras. Since the web cam is built in it gets priority on the system and gets in the way of BeamGage finding the SP line of USB cameras. With some laptop computers you can enter the Windows Device Manager and disable the web cam to allow operation of the SP line of USB cameras with BeamGage. However, some computers also require that you uninstall the web cam application program to release control of the Microsoft Direct Show driver so it can be used by BeamGage to operate the SP USB cameras.


By applying a reading in BeamGage from a power/energy meter into the Computations, Power/Energy menu to the beam profile and turning on a drawn aperture in the Aperture/Manual Aperture menu you can enable a result in the computed results, Power/Energy section that shows how much of the total power the camera is being illuminated with inside this aperture. You can pick the shape; define the size and location of this aperture to be able to isolate the region of your beam that you want to know how much of the total power is isolated in this region.


In previous versions of BeamGage it was required to install and operate BeamGage with elevated privileges. The BeamGage 6.1 application core has been over hauled to eliminate the need for operating the software with elevated privileges. You still have to install BeamGage 6.1 from an Administrator level account, but now you can operate it OK with restricted user privileges.


As BeamGage collects data points to put into the Pointing Stability function it allows you to see the concentration of where the data points are located. These are fitted to a distribution and you can get fractions of data that can produce information that is beyond the precision of the camera pixel.

An example would be if we collect 10 data points that have 5 points in one location and 5 points in a location just 1 pixel away. The distribution will indicate the centroid is in between these two points at 1/2 the pixel size. This is beyond the capability of the equipment, but the distribution mathematically is correct.


Before allowing laser energy to enter the instrument, it is important to limit the beam intensity. Excessive laser energy may cause damage to the camera or the internal components of the M² optical train. 


Typically, a CCD camera imager can be damaged at energy levels in excess of 1 mJ/cm² or at power levels greater than .15 mW/cm². Adjust these input limits downward based on the likely focused spot size resulting from your M² lens focal length. Beam splitters and/or filters may be used to attenuate the beam, but care must be used to prevent the introduction of distortions.


During an M2 measurement operation, the peak energy density that reaches the camera will change, potentially over several orders of magnitude. This is a result of the camera effectively moving from a larger unfocused spot near the lens, into and through the focus at the waist, and then out again to an unfocused spot (see Figure 21 on page 91). The optical train will automatically adjust to accommodate these changes in beam intensity, so long as you, the operator, have prudently selected the initial beam intensity. Thus, it is your responsibility to attenuate the laser sufficiently to operate within the safe dynamic range of the M²-200s system.


BeamGage has the most extensive set of ISO and non-IS0 beam diagnostics computations assembled in a beam profiling tool. 

BeamGage is the first fully scalable beam analysis system. Any number of cameras can be viewed/analyzed/controlled from any number of networked machines, simultaneously. This gives the user the ability leverage large amounts of hardware power (RAM, CPU, storage, and networks) to solve more complex video analysis problems. It has even been optimized to allow local-machine analysis clients to run uninhibited by slower, cross-network clients. 

BeamGage is the first system to implement true multi-client functionality. This allows the user to launch any number of analyzers that subscribe to a single camera source and partition the detector data for area of interest based analysis. In other words, you can analyze any number of spatially-separated beams on the same detector or compute different results on overlapping regions. 

BeamGage is the first beam profile analysis system to allow users to analyze mathematically generated beam profiles in the same way they would analyze real beam profiles. With BeamMaker you can create synthetic profiles in virtually any camera frame format. Simulating not only width; height; 8, 10, 12, 14, 16… bit digitizers; but many other features like modal content, noise, and background effects. This opens up many reference beam processing options never available before. 

BeamGage is the first beam analysis system to fully address the problem of application complexity. It can be configured by the factory or the end-user to scale its complexity up or down, showing only the controls required by the user and hiding un-needed complexity. 

BeamGage is the first beam analysis system allowing the user to fully exploit their accelerated graphics card and render rich 3D visualizations of the beam in full camera resolution. 

BeamGage is the first beam analysis system to combine the accuracy of UltracalTM – Ophir-Spiricon's patented baseline correction algorithm that helped establish the ISO 11146-3 standard for beam measurement accuracy – with the simplicity of AutoX – an adaptive mode that automatically adjusts exposure, gain, and black level, simplifying optical system setup and alignment. 

BeamGage is the first full-featured beam analysis system to allow synchronized external power meter calibrations. 

BeamGage also supports custom computational packages. Said another way, we do the work of capturing video data and computing any enabled results. BeamGage passes those results and video data to end-user defined routines (which are simple to create); we then take the values returned from end-user defined routines and do the work of displaying, keeping statistics, checking pass/fail, buffering, saving, logging, and printing. This feature provides a simple solution to users who have problems that fall outside of the “typical” beam analysis domain. 

BeamGage is the first beam analysis system to output data in HDF5 format, an open source format compatible with tools like MatLab. 


I would also like to set up a beam code to take 10 pictures once a day for 30 days, without human intervention.

Set your camera to capture at 30Hz if it has a frame format that supports 30Hz: 

Select an attached power meter or use the manual calibration tool if power calibration is required. If calibration is required counts will turn to an actual power reading for the total frame power or energy: 

You said you need an average so I will assume "Total" is the item you are averaging. It could be any results just enable the one(s) you need: 

You need to average 100 shots at 30Hz each hour so you will need to use the Burst Capture feature. The controls below (as currently set) will capture 100 frames every hour in results priority mode (what you need for this requirement). 

Provide a log file name here: 

Set frame averaging to 100 because you want to average the frames collected. This will produce results that are an average of 100 samples. 

Set logging to continuous as you will stop it manually after 30 days. 

You could also do the math (Days x Logs Per Day = Total logs or 30x24=720) and figure out how many samples a 30 day log would produce at this rate and place this number in the box below in place of the 1 you see now. Then click on the "Folder/Play-Button" icon to the right of the spin buttons to enable "Stop after X Logs" 

When you are ready to start logging, make sure the data source is running and click on the top middle icon you see here, which is the results logging button (has the 1.2 in the icon): 

When you are running and click the "Log Results" button the logging to disk will begin.

2D and 3D images (Pro release to introduce image logging) can also be logged by enabling the required image file types here: 

Use Excel to import the data from the log file with comma delimiting and you will see the following type of log: This log of total frame counts was made using burst capture of 100 frames every 5 seconds.

Tip: When you setup a log in this way you will only see the frames that are logged appear in the BeamGage beam displays. If you are logging one sample an hour you will not see a lot of activity in the beam display windows. Not to worry, you have the power of Multi-Clienting at your finger tips so you can minimize this instance of BeamGage and let it go on logging in the background (maximize it again when you want to see the last frames logged). Now, launch a new instance of BeamGage and connect to the same camera. Because the camera is set at 30Hz you will see a 30Hz video feed in the second instance of BeamGage. This will allow you to monitor in real-time while you are logging in slow-time.

Behold, the power of subscription rate when combined with logging and multi-clienting.


The Pyrocam III currently requires a Legacy driver for operation in Windows 7. We are in the process of upgrading its driver to be Plug and Play compatible with Windows 7. Until then please contact our Service Department for step by step instructions for getting the Pyrocam III to be recognize in Windows 7.

If your camera is licensed for Standard, you can add a higher level tier with a software upgrade that can be purchased for a fee. This includes the license code and the software DVD on a per camera basis. 
BeamGage Professional allows you to run an automation interface and also allows partitioning of the array to take measurements of multiple beams. 

It could be that you have not installed the driver for your camera yet. Please run the Camera Driver Manager and click on your camera on the left and on the right, you will be able to see if the driver has been installed or not by looking for an Install button or what version of driver has been installed

It should not look like this. Notice it says Install.

It should look like this. Notice it says “This driver is currently installed (”


Yes, all of our GigE and USB based devices including our cameras and the NanoScan 2/2s products will work with Windows 10.

Unfortunately if you have an IEEE 1394 FireWire based device, then it will not. Windows 10 does not support this style of interface any more.

If you are having problems getting your equipment to work on Windows 10, please contact our Service Department at for assistance.


Other than by connecting a camera and collecting data, the best way to verify that your BeamGage installation is working correctly is to select Beam Maker as the source. You should see a simulated beam come up in the display. If it does not, it signals that the installation of the software has failed to install one or more components correctly. The solution is to uninstall and reinstall the software, ensuring that it is performed with administrator privileges.


With the release of BeamGage 6.9.1 the ability to install an Ophir power meter is available through the Spiricon Driver Manager. This allows the Ophir power meter equipment to work with BeamGage, and without the need to separately run the StarLab PC power meter application. The Spiricon Driver Manager can be accessed at the end of the BeamGage installation or at a later time by clicking on the Windows Start, going to All Programs\Spiricon Tools and select Spiricon Driver Manager. With an Ophir power meter connected through the USB cable, then Under “Select a device:” you will now see an option to install the Ophir Power Meter. Click on the Ophir Power Meter and then the Install button, located to the right, to install a connection to the Ophir power meter equipment. Power meter control options are now available through BeamGage such as selecting the appropriate wavelength and power/energy scaling factor.


BeamGage Ultracal is the camera baseline correction process that nulls the camera background energy so accurate measurements can be obtained. Upon completing the Ultracal baseline correction cycle, the Ultracal checkbox will turn ON and a Green “U” indicator will illuminate in the status bar. When a camera setting changes that can compromise the Ultracal accuracy, the “U” indicator will turn Red, and Ultracal processing will be suspended. You may notice that the Ultracal Indicator has changed to Red, indicating Ultracal suspension, and not know what changed to cause it. To see an explanation for Ultracal suspension, hover over this indicator with the mouse pointer and a pop-up message will appear providing information of what changed that caused the Ultracal suspension.


The cameras included with BeamGage have separate drivers that need to be installed in order for them to be recognized by BeamGage and connected to it. BeamGage installs a Spiricon Driver Manager utility that facilitates installing the appropriate driver for the particular BeamGage camera. You simply launch the Spiricon Driver Manager, click on the camera model listing that matches your camera and click Install. The Spiricon Driver Manager utility is accessed at the Windows Start/All Programs/Spiricon Tools location.


BeamGage has the ability to connect to an Ophir USB power meter to display the power measurement in the BeamGage Results window without needing to install the StarLab software. You can run the Spiricon Driver Manager and select Ophir Power Meter to install the drivers for the Ophir USB interface units and meters. However, if your interface or meter has an older ROM version that needs to be updated, you will need to install the latest version of StarLab that can be downloaded from our web site here to update your ROM version so it will then show up in BeamGage.


The Newport LBP2 series laser beam profilers are entry level beam profilers with traditional features needed for typical beam profiling analysis. However, for additional functionality, features, and the ability to run automation, BeamGage® Professional is required. There is an upgrade path for upgrading the LBP2 series laser beam profilers to BeamGage Standard or BeamGage Professional. Please contact us for more information and a quotation. Contact Us.


BeamGage® supports a variety of different cameras for image acquisition. The cameras used with BeamGage have specific drivers required for active image acquisition. Included with the installation of BeamGage is a Spiricon Camera Driver utility for installing the required camera driver, which pops-up at the end of the installation or is accessed by clicking on the Windows Start\All Programs\Spiricon Tools\Spiricon Driver Manager. The Spiricon Driver Manager allows you to select the camera model being used and then click the Install button to install the required camera driver.




No. The cameras used with BeamGage are pre-setup specifically and licensed for BeamGage. There are configuration settings and mechanical differences with the BeamGage cameras, such as setting them to manual gain for linear response and removing the sensor’s protective glass cover in order to avoid fringe interference when used in BeamGage with laser light sources.


Currently we provide no support or examples for the BeamGage Automation Interface using Python because Python does not fully support .NET interfaces and misses two critical features: .NET Remoting and Casting. Any programming language that supports those features for .NET Framework 4.5 or later, should work OK, but this typically is limited to compiled languages. As such, we do not have Python examples available.
While Python does not natively support .NET, IronPython ( , or Python for .NET ( are integrations for the language that may work, but may require separate implementation of wrapper libraries of the provided BeamGage Automation Interface to handle the casting and remoting functionality.



Data provided by a customer: "We only have a gauge that goes down to 10 mTorr. So it works at least to that level, but the vacuum was probably lower".


Ophir-Spiricon goes to great lengths to qualify scientific quality cameras with blemish free imagers. We also remove the protective windows from the CCD imagers to provide full spectral response and distortion free performance. These options are not available from commercial camera manufacturers. While commercially available cameras cost less, they do not provide the performance levels the Ophir-Spiricon cameras are capable of providing.


Camera Defects Policy
Ophir-Spiricon, LLC (OSL) is a supplier of laser beam analysis tools that employ commercial-industrial solid-state cameras. OSL attempts to supply cameras with as few pixel defects as possible. OSL tests for and corrects defective pixels that may have an adverse effect when used for its intended purpose. OSL does not guarantee that a supplied camera will be defect free, or that they will remain defect free during its normal lifetime and under normal use.

It is not uncommon for modern megapixel camera imagers to develop point defects as they age, even when not subjected to abuse. Imagers without windows often experience point defects at rates typically greater than imagers with their cover glass left in place. Point defects can also appear more frequently when operating at higher rather than lower ambient temperatures, and higher relative humidity. Such defects can occur even when the camera is in storage and not being used.

Cameras supplied by OSL will be certified for use in laser beam analyzer applications. When defects occur, the ability to make certain measurements under certain conditions may be compromised. However, depending upon the nature of the defect, most measurement can still be performed without loss of accuracy. In some instances the effects of defects can be eliminated or significantly reduced by adjusting the manner in which the camera is being employed.

Ophir-Spiricon, LLC offers a camera recertification service. This service can help to extend the useful life of your camera and correct some point defects that may show up over time. This service can not correct cameras with serious laser damage or imager degradation. Whenever possible OSL will restore the camera to our "as new" level of certification; and if not possible, we will indicate to the user how to avoid areas of the imager that may not perform to "as new" standards.

Defects, Solutions and Workarounds
The following list contains examples of typical camera point defects that may occur over time, and suggested methods of compensating for them if they are troublesome:

Defect type Description of the Problem Recommended Solution
See Note 1 below
Bright Pixel Pixels with this defect will indicate being illuminated even when no signal is present. These are the most troublesome when attempting to make accurate peak fluence and peak fluence location measurements because they represent a false signal. Most other measurements are not adversely affected by this type of defect. This type of defect is screened for during our regular camera inspection process. All pixels that exceed a set limit are corrected, if possible, before the camera ships. See Note 1 below. Our QA department will often reject cameras if the pixel can not be corrected and it exceeds our acceptance criteria.
  1. Ultracal/baseline correction will subtract out the defective pixel.
  2. Reposition the camera to remove the defective pixel from the measurement region and employ a manual aperture to isolate the pixel from the area of interest.
  3. Return the camera to OSL to have the bad pixel corrected and the camera re-certified.
Twinkling Pixel This is an intermittent version of the Bright Pixel defect. These often appear as the camera warms up. May disappear if the camera is run in cooler environments. Usually predicts a pixel that will soon be a permanently bright pixel defect.

These are the hardest to detect and as such may get past our camera inspection process.

Same as above.

If returned to OSL to be corrected please send a full frame data file showing the pixel as it is malfunctioning. This will aid in our ability to find and fix it.

Dark Pixel Dark pixels have low responses compared to the amount of illumination that they receive. Isolated instances of these types of defects do not pose a serious beam analysis problem and they are generally not in need of correcting. This type of defect will not significantly impact a beam measurement result unless the beam is very very small and the defect falls inside of the beam profile. Reposition the camera to remove the defective pixel from the measurement region.
Dead Pixel Dead pixels have no response at all and may output a raw pixel value of zero (0) counts. This type of defect is screened for during our regular camera inspection process. All pixels that exceed a set limit are corrected, if possible, before the camera ships. This type of pixel may create a warning message when performing Ultracal operations. Ignore the warning and proceed as in the Dark Pixel case described above.
Dark Clusters These dimmer than normal clusters involving about a dozen or fewer pixels are often caused by dust particles and can usually be removed by cleaning of the imager. Sometimes these can be very difficult to impossible to remove. In the latter case they are may be melted into imager

If this is the result of laser damage then imager replacement is the only solution.

These usually do not cause serious measurement problems and can be treated with the Dark Pixel workaround described above. They can sometimes be dislodged with very gentle puffs of dry air. If you return a camera to be re-certified we have a few special methods for cleaning these, but success is not 100% guaranteed.
Regions of non-uniform response When large areas of an imager yield reduced signal levels this usually indicates laser damage. Long term exposure to ultraviolet radiation or overexposure to high laser power or peak energies are common causes. This type of degradation is not repairable and either the camera or the camera imager must be replaced.

Note 1: The following camera models can be re-certified and can have bad pixels corrected:
GRAS20, SP620, L11058, L230, Pyrocam III, Xeva
Each of the above cameras will have a maximum number of pixels that can be corrected. Once this limit is exceeded the camera imager or the camera must be replaced in order to meet OSL "as new" certification standards. If a large cluster of defective pixels appear, then bad pixel correction may not be able to repair the defect. The following cameras do not have, or have very limited, bad pixel correction capabilities:
SCOR20, SP503, FX50, FX33, FX33HD 


Usually this is because the camera has not been connected correctly. On desktop computers power can be pulled directly over the 6 pin to 6 pin FireWire cable. On laptops, you must use the supplied "Y" power adapter cable. The 6 pin to 6 pin FireWire cable must connect into the back of the camera and then connect into the female connection on the "Y" power adapter cable. Then the male connection of the "Y" power adapter cable is plugged into the laptop computer card. The same configuration is used for laptop computers that have built in IEEE 1394 except the 6 pin to 4 pin connector is used instead of the laptop adapter card. The round power connection must also be connected for the camera to show up in the camera list.

  • CCD camera manufacturers typically quote a signal-to-noise ratio of 50 to 60db. This refers to the peak signal before saturation divided by the RMS noise. This is a 20 log function, so 60db would be equivalent to a dynamic range of 1000, whereas 50db would be a dynamic range of about 300. However, it should be noted that this is comparing peak signal to RMS noise. The peak-to-peak noise is about 6 times the RMS noise. Therefore, the dynamic range in terms of peak signal to peak-to-peak noise ranges from about 50 to 180. With 8-bit digitizers, i.e., 256 counts, this means that the bottom 2-5 counts in the digitizer are noisy.
  • The Pyrocam III pyroelectric camera also has a 60db signal-to-noise ratio. However, this is a worst case pessimistic specification. Typically the dynamic range is about 70db, which means the dynamic range is about 500 relative to peak-to-peak noise. This makes the camera very useful with 10 and 12-bit digitizers

The amount of power or energy that the camera can take depends on the type of camera sensor.

  • CCD cameras typically saturate at about 0.3µW/cm2 CW, and 3nJ/cm2 pulsed
  • Pyroelectric solid-state cameras typically saturate at 3W/cm2 CW and 10mJ/cm2 pulsed

Sampling and attenuating the beam is done in a two-step process.

  • A high quality beam splitter is used to pass typically 90% of the beam through the beam splitter, and reflect or split typically 10% of the beam 90° away from the input path.
    • The beam splitter is typically quartz for the UV to Near IR, and AR coated ZnSe for CO2, or a transmitting or reflecting grating.
    • The beam splitter is typically quartz for the UV to Near IR, and AR coated ZnSe for CO2, or a transmitting or reflecting grating.
    • The splitter can be wedged to eliminate interference from the reflections from two surfaces, or thick enough that the back side reflection does not overlap the front side reflection.
    • The beam splitters are polarization sensitive, and this factor should be considered.
  • This sampled beam is then typically attenuated with high quality uniform neutral density filters.
    • ND filters from 450nm to 2µm can be bulk absorbing BK7 glass, and achieve excellent results.
    • In the UV, quartz plates with surface reflecting coatings can be used. However, great care must be taken to minimize interference fringes.
    • At 10.6µm flats of CaF2 absorb about 50% per mm thickness, and can be used to attenuate CO2 beams.
    • Attenuation in the 2mm to 10mm region is difficult, and is best done by multiple beam splitters.

When using a camera with a lens, the operator must perform a spatial calibration to obtain accurate dimensional results. To do this, you must set up the camera lens system to view an object of a known dimension. The object to be viewed must contrast against its background to yield well defined edges. Use the following procedure.

  • In the Camera Dialog Box, set the "Pixel Scale" V value to 1.
  • In the Beam Display Toolbar Dialog Box check "Cursors" and "Crosshair"
  • In the Camera Dialog Box set the "Resolution" to 1X.
  • On the Beam Display Toolbar set "Crosshair" to Manual and "Cursor" to Manual.
  • Set the LBA into "CW Mode" and start it "Running."
  • Place an object containing at least one known dimension into the imaging plane of the camera lens system, and focus the optics. (A good object might be a circular disk with a diameter of 1cm.) The object should be large enough to fill over 50% of the display height. You can hardware zoom to enlarge the object if necessary. Orient the object so that the calibration dimension aligns vertically on the Y axis cursor. You can use the Pan and Cursor controls to achieve a good alignment.
  • With the mouse and left button move the cursor to one edge of the object
  • With the mouse and left button move the crosshair to the object's opposite edge. The Delta = value on the screen will contain the pixel count between the known calibration dimensions. Divide this number into the calibration dimension to yield the correct "Pixel Scale" value.
  • For example, if a 1cm distance produced a delta count of 176, then the "Pixel Scale" value would become .00568cm, or 56.8µm.

The Pyrocam III needs a window for protection against foreign objects entering the camera, and destroying the crystal. This could happen by someone poking a brush or Q-tip to clean off lint, etc. The window also protects the sensor from the effects of humidity. The window must have anti-reflection coating, or the two surfaces of the window will create interference fringes from a collimated light source which show up on the sensor as ripples in the beam. With anti-reflection coating the reflections, and thus the interference fringes, are minimized, and the sensor sees only the beam energy.


The problem we are seeing in the images you provided is what is referred to as "image tarring". This occurs when there is another process going on during the data acquisition from the camera. We also see that there are two beams on the screen at the same time. Some of which are of the same intensity and some which are what we call "Ghost Beams". These occur from a couple of things. One, it could be from a beam splitter causing a back reflection and we are picking it up on the camera. Two, it is more likely that this is a ghost beam from the laser being pulsed. We see this when the triggering on the camera is not properly set such that we are having the pulse arrive during the reset time of the array. Third this could be from using too much electronic shutter. The electronic shutter can be used as a slight attenuator, but when two much electronic shutter is used, we typically see vertical blooming.

My recommendations would be for running the camera synced to the laser pulse via the connection on the side of the camera. This will also help when trying to do single shot acquisition. The camera needs to be pre triggered by 12 uS so the camera is readied and has just started integrating when the laser pulse arrives at the CCD imager.

By putting the software into Single Shot mode it will only take one frame from the camera. However, by putting the camera into triggered mode, it waits until the trigger pulse arrives at the camera to start the integration of the CCD imager. Once the pulse arrives, the camera takes the image and stops. This mode is probably the most difficult to setup and function properly. We typically recommend that the software be set to Video Trigger and the camera to run in CW mode if you are trying to avoid seeing blank images coming from the camera until you are more comfortable with the operation of the equipment. Once you are more comfortable with how the interaction with the software, camera, and laser are working then making changes to the setup like externally triggering the camera and doing single shot data acquisition are a little easier. 


Yes. Since we remove the protective glass cover over the CCD camera sensor the full spectrum of the Silicon sensor can be used. This allows the cameras to operate as low as 190nm. But UV wavelengths are very abusive to the CCD sensor and over time the CCD sensor will become less responsive in the area where the UV laser is impinging on the sensor. Steering the beam around the sensor will reveal the low response area and unfortunately the CCD sensor will need to be replaced. In these cases, we recommend using a UV converter of some kind to convert the wavelength to a less abusive wavelength to lengthen out the life time of the CCD sensor.


No. The camera has a CCD sensor coated with phosphor that responds to 1440nm – 1605nm. The CCD sensor will see wavelengths from 190nm – 1100nm, but since the phosphor coating is on the front of the CCD sensor, it limits the usable range of the camera to only 1440nm – 1605nm. Attempting to use the camera at other wavelengths can distort the image and/or put the CCD sensor and phosphor coating at risk of damage due to the attenuating affects of the phosphor coating at wavelengths outside 1400nm – 1605nm.


The Pyrocam III uses a +5VDC 2A rated universal power supply with a standard 5 mm barrel plug. The +5VDC is listed both on the power supply and on the Pyrocam III at the power input port. Because the 5 mm barrel plug is a standard size plug used for many power supplies, typically in the 12VDC to higher VDC power rangers, it is possible to connect a higher VDC rated power supply with this same 5 mm barrel plug into the Pyrocam III. However, if the more-than +5VDC power supply is powered-on and connected to the Pyrocam III, it does damage the Pyrocam III electronics to where the Pyrocam III malfunctions. In known occurrences of connecting a powered-on more-than +5VDC power supply, the Pyrocam III will still communicate and connect to the host PC, but functionality is compromised, for instance the chopper typically will not operate correctly, nor will the Pyrocam III produce a valid image or any image at all. If a powered-on more-than +5VDC power supply has been connected to the Pyrocam III and it becomes damaged, then it must be returned to the manufacturer and repaired by replacing the damaged internal electronic circuit boards to restore good operation and full functionality.


Upon initial startup the Pyrocam III defaults to pulsed mode operation. In order for the Pyrocam III to "run" in pulsed mode operation it must have a repetitive frequency trigger-in signal connected to the Pyrocam III trigger-in BNC connector. Another option is that you can select chopped mode, and once the optical chopper blade synchronizes in ~30 seconds, the Pyrocam III will "run". 

The Pyrocam III is a pyroelectric matrix array detector camera which operates on the principle of heating and cooling of the pyroelectric detector in order to output a video signal. This heating and cooling is accommodated with pulsed mode lasers and requires a trigger-in signal from the laser to synchronize to it. With a CW laser, the Pyrocam III is set to chopped mode which engages an internal optical chopper blade to interrupt the beam in order to provide heating and cooling. 


The CCD in the camera will saturate at room light levels, so it is important to keep the amount of power/energy being directed towards the CCD well below these levels. Typical saturation levels of a CCD are only single digit µW/cm2 or single digit nJ/cm2, but can vary from camera model to camera model. Please consult the data sheets for your Ophir-Spiricon cameras for saturation levels for save power/energy levels for your specific camera.


The BeamGage laser beam analyzer product is provided in a tiered structure with features and capabilities designed to meet application criteria options versus cost. The BeamGage license resides within each camera which is sold along with the BeamGage software as a system. When purchasing a license for a higher tier, the functionality for the lower tiers is also available, but when purchasing a lower tier, the functionality for the higher tiers must be additionally purchased as an upgrade.


Enabling more results is done by clicking on the results category in the white results window such as Spatial and placing a check mark next to the result you want to enable. Rest your mouse over the result you are considering enabling will produce a pop up box with a brief description of what this result is. NOTE: Enabling results requires more computer processing power so care should be taken not to enable so many results that it causes poor performance. Turning off results that are not necessary will help to increase performance.


Yes, Blooming occurs in the near-IR wavelengths and exhibits as a vertical stripe through the most intense portion of the image. Blooming may sometimes be to faint to notice but may still distort the beam width measurement. Blooming can be mitigated by increasing the Exposure control to the maximum frame period


Yes our windowless silicon cameras and Pyrocams are sensitive to UV light. Silicon cameras eventually become desensitized and will eventually fail with long term exposure. The shorter wavelengths create faster degradation.

  • Avoid saturation and needless exposure to prolong the life of cameras working with UV light or use one of our UV convertors to eliminate silicon camera issues at wavelengths shorter than 300nm

It is recommended that the camera be sent back on a yearly basis to be recertified for continued assurance of high quality measurements as a beam profiling camera. When the camera is sent back to Ophir-Spiricon, part of the recertification process is that we inspect and clean the camera sensor to make sure it is reporting "as new" measurement results.


Below is a picture of an imager that has a lot of dust on the detector. The best thing that can be done is to return the camera to Ophir-Spiricon to go through our Camera Recertification process where we will clean the imager and check for any damage or defects in the imager that might impact the performance of your system.

Please contact our Service Department at to get an RMA number to send your camera in for evaluation.


With Trigger In mode the camera will only start to expose and transmit a frame of data when a trigger signal is sent to the camera. There generally are timing issues when using photo detectors with pulsed lasers and CCD camera frame acquisition. The BeamGage Trigger In feature provides delay adjustment to move the camera acquisition timing in order to synchronize with the pulsed laser firing. The delay can be set in milliseconds to be either later or earlier in the exposure window. A negative delay entry is settable for pre-triggering when needed. When the beam is present but not displayed, adjusting the delay will allow for good synchronization and a consistent pulsed beam display.


We recommend only using clean, dry, low-pressure dust-off air spray for gently blowing dust specs and contamination away from the CCD camera sensor. Do not use anything that makes physical contact with the sensor surface. The sensor is delicate and is surrounded by micro connecting wire-bond wires which will likely break if anything physical contacts them.


When a laser has a beam size that is too large to fit onto the CCD it is necessary to use lensing to reduce the size of the beam so it can fit. This can be done in one of two ways, a beam reducer or an imaging system. When direct imaging in front of the camera, like imaging an image projected onto a defusing surface such as a ground glass plate, it is necessary to reduce the image so that it completely fits onto the CCD chip surface. A 25mm or 50mm CCTV lens images an object from a given plane in front of the lens onto the CCD while reducing the size. The lens can image such objects at distances from about 10cm in front of the lens (20cm for the 50mm lens) to 1 meter or more depending on the distance from the lens to the CCD. The distance from the lens to the CCD depends on the camera type and spacers placed between the lens and the CCD. The magnification reduction is dependent on how far the object is from the lens and the amount of distance the lens is to the CCD detector. Below is an example of how this is done and some graphs showing the Object distance vs. Lens spacing and Size reduction vs. Lens spacing.

How do I profile a laser with a beam size that is too big to fit onto the camera CCD detector


15 Frames/second

The effective frame rates listed in BeamGage specification sheets are the maximum rates typically achievable in actual use.  Frame buffering, image processing techniques, graphical displays, and mathematical computation all add degrees of overhead to achieving higher frame rates.  This can be further limited by the available PC hardware.  BeamGage features two modes, Frame Priority and Results Priority, which change how the system balances the work.  Results Priority acquires a frame, performs any enabled image processing, performs all calculations and updates the graphical displays before accepting another frame from the camera.  This mode is most useful when a temporal sequence of frames is not necessary and should always be enabled when logging.  Frame Priority mode will allow the calculations and graphical display updates to be interrupted if another frame is ready from the camera before those operations are complete.  This can be useful when collecting all frames at the maximum camera frame rate is necessary.


The Pyrocam IIIHR and Pyrocam IV (upon first connection and initialization in BeamGage) startup in the “Pulsed” trigger method, which sets them to a state of waiting for an electronic trigger signal from a pulsed laser source before they will acquire data or start running. If you connect a repetitive pulsed trigger source with the trigger method set to “Pulsed” then the Pyrocam IIIHR or Pyrocam IV will start running; or if you switch the trigger method to “Chopped” (which is for steady state or CW lasers) then the internal optical chopper will begin to rotate and once it is synchronized, in ~15 seconds, then the Pyrocam IIIHR or Pyrocam IV will start running.


There are likely two options, depending on the wavelength of the laser. The best approach is to use an image plane where the beam is projected onto the transparent plane and the Ophir SP928 camera with focusing lens images the beam on this plane. This approach works well for UV applications and most wavelengths up to 1.0um. In the range of 1550nm, the best approach for profiling large beams involves projecting the beam onto a white board, functioning as the image plane, and then using the Ophir SP1203 InGaAs camera and lens, imaging the beam off the white board. The size of beam is limited the focusing lens and the intensity of the imaged beam. In either case this approach is does not require extensive fixturing or costs.


The Ophir PyroCam IV is the camera of choice for Terahertz applications with an absorption range from 1um to 3000um. The key to these applications, however, is the average power. Most Terahertz applications are very low power, mW’s or much less, although the requirements of the Ophir PyroCam IV are such that they typically require a few mW’s for effective measurement and imaging. In this application with such low power, using the Ophir BeamGage Pro software with its usual setting was not sufficient for the requirement. A standard control feature, however, in BeamGage Pro, is Frame Summing, located under the Capture Tap on the Control Ribbon. This feature allows for multiple frames to be stacked on top of each other to build up the signal to a point of measurement and visual graphics. In one application, the Terahertz power was so low that summing 40 frames was required to achieve satisfactory results. But, without this feature, the client would not have been able to profile their beam and thereby understanding the beam size, shape, and intensity.


When medical, aerospace, or other complex devices are produced in an Additive Manufacturing, powder-bed laser system, the product design requires the use of a variety of power levels. These different setting are a function of the structural integrity of the device under build, but also the efficiency of the design to avoid the use of excess materials, powders, and processing time. In a typical 1kw Additive Manufacturing laser, power levels during the build can range from 400W to 1000W, for either short or long durations. Therefore, profiling the laser beam at these different power levels is required. In a recent application test, a 1kW laser was provided at a variety of power settings from 400W to 1kW, in increments of 200Ws. The result of this diagnostic test demonstrated that as the power was increased, the ellipiticity (roundness) of the beam deteriorated. The change was not significant but demonstrated that in any build requiring a 360 degree range of the laser, the focal spot would be slightly larger in one direction and slightly smaller in a different direction, resulting in a major defect of the build. And since some of these builds can take 10’s of hours, finding out after the build that the laser is not round to specification is a costly result. These beam profiling diagnostics alerted the client to a potential problem BEFORE they went to build product, avoiding costly mistakes.

Customer Service


This depends on whether you are using a thermal sensor or a photodiode sensor. With our most sensitive thermal sensor, model RM9, one can measure down to about 500nW. With our photodiode sensor heads we have a several types, silicon, InGaAs and Germanium. Each has a spec on minimum power, which can be as low as 10pW


There is a Microsoft Windows XP update (KB925902) that causes an Illegal System DLL Relocation error with the Pyrocam III Control Console. Microsoft has released a hot fix for the problem with the RealTek Audio, and the fix also works for The Pyrocam III Control Console.
and scroll down to "Method 3: Install update 935448 from the Microsoft Download Center". Click the "Download the 935448 package now" link and follow the instructions.


This is a known ActiveX issue with Microsoft. You can occasionally get an error message stating, "The system DLL user32.dll was relocated in memory. The application will not run properly. The relocation occurred because the DLL C:\Windows\System32\Hhctrl.ocx occupied an address range reserved for Windows system DLLs. The vendor supplying the DLL should be contacted for a new DLL." There are two ways to get around this. First, you can just run the Setup.exe from the individual folders on the CD. Or second, you can click the below link and then click the Download button to download the WindowsXP-KB935448-x68-ENU.exe file. Run this to install the 935448 hot fix. You will not need to restart the computer. Then you can install the software from the Flash screen.


After numerous requests for re-calibration of M2 systems, in 2008 Ophir-Spiricon started a recalibration program for its M2 systems. This program allows the equipment to be sent back to the factory to be inspected, lubricated and re-calibrated. This enables customers to comply with their ISO regulations. Please click the below link to be directed to a section of our web site where you can request an RMA to return your equipment for re-calibration.


The Ophir-Spiricon software products that are compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7 are outlined below. Also outlined below are the cameras and associated hardware that are compatible with Windows Vista and Windows 7 32 and 64 bit. 

Product Software Version 32 bit compatibility 64 bit compatibility
BeamGage (S, P, & E) V 5.0 Yes V 5.4*
ModeCheck V 5.0 Yes No
LBA-USB V 4.83 Yes V 4.88*
LBA-FW V 4.83 Yes V 4.91*
LBA-PC V 4.18 Yes V 4.26*
M2-200 V 4.58 Yes V 4.61*
M2-200-FW V 4.70 Yes V 4.75*
Pyrocam III V 1.89 Yes V 1.93
BeamStar V 1.52 Yes No

*The software will install and function, but the camera may not unless there are updated 64 bit drivers also installed.

Product 32 bit compatibility 64 bit compatibility
GRAS20/SCOR20 Yes No
SP620U/SP503U Yes Yes BeamGage only
Pyrocam III Yes BeamGage 5.4 and Pyrocam III Control Console 1.93
LW11058/LW230 Yes LBA Pending BeamGage Pending BeamGage only
Frame Grabber Cards Yes No
M2Motor Controller Yes No



Ultracal is a method of calibrating the zero level of the A to D converter precisely to the zero level of the CCD or other type camera. Ultracal has a number of features that make it much more effective than standard background subtraction. Ultracal works as follows:

  • All incoming laser radiation is blocked from the camera, allowing any ambient radiation which will enter the camera during measurement, to still impinge upon the camera. (However, ambient radiation should be minimized under all cases.)
  • The A to D converter is then set to capture frames from the camera, and adjust the zero level of the A to D converter. The zero level of the converter is adjusted until it and the baseline of the camera are as close as possible to each other. However, the digitizer is set slightly lower than the zero of the camera so that all noise components from the camera are digitized. This is assured by raising the camera DC level until the digitizer does not report any zero counts, i.e., all negative going noise from the camera/digitizer combination is at least one positive count. Once this baseline level is set, the software accumulates and averages 64 frames so that a baseline is obtained that is essentially free of random noise, but contains any offset or shading from the camera.
  • In all subsequent laser signal frames this baseline is subtracted pixel by pixel from the signal frame.
  • A unique characteristic of Ultracal is its treatment of what we call negative numbers. Consider that a given pixel signal is exactly at the same level as the average background obtained from the 64 frames. When these two are subtracted from each other, the output magnitude will be zero. On the other hand, if a small positive noise spike occurs on a given pixel, of say, 2 counts higher than the average, then the output from that pixel will be a +2. The third case would be when noise drives the pixel signal lower than the average; for example, 3 counts less than the average. When the average is subtracted from this signal, the resultant is -3 counts. Spiricon holds a patent in which these negative 3 counts are retained in the memory subsequent to the A to D converter. In other acquisition systems negative numbers resulting from background subtraction are truncated to zero.
  • By maintaining the use of both positive and negative noise counts for each pixel in the sensor, the negative signals can offset the positive signals, and thus the background averages much closer to zero. This enables much more accurate measurement of beam width and other beam characteristics.



There is no NIST standard laser beam by which beam analyzer results can be compared and verified. Spiricon engineers, however, have generated mathematically derived beams, added mathematically derived random noise to the beam, and then performed various beam measurements. Since the original beam was mathematically derived, the accuracy of the beam measurements can be verified under realistic conditions.

  • This process verifies the accuracy of the software, but does not do any verification of the accuracy of the camera/acquisition combination.
  • Camera/acquisition system combination verification can be performed by making very accurate measurements of characteristics such as beam width vs. intensity on the camera to verify that the camera is linear. The beam can also be moved about the camera to make sure that it is uniform. This type of measurement must be verified by meticulous measurements.



With extremely fast P6 computers the acquisition speed is now limited only by the camera. This is typically 30Hz in the U.S. with the RS-170 standard, and 25Hz in Europe with the CCIR standard.

  • Pyroelectric cameras can acquire data with pulse repetition rates up to 1kHz, but output data at approximately 60Hz.
  • Shutters enable CCD cameras to split out single pulses out of a pulse train up to 10kHz pulse repetition rate.

 The most reliable synchronization is to have the beam analyzer camera system trigger the laser. Then 100% synchronization is achieved.

  • When triggering the laser is not possible, then the camera can sometimes be triggered from the laser. The LBA provides both Trigger In and Trigger Out functions.
  • A very simple system is Ophir-Spiricon's Video Trigger, in which the camera is free running, and the software simply looks to see if a signal of a pre-determined minimum magnitude is present from a pulse. If it is, then that signal is acquired and displayed. If no signal is present, then that frame is discarded. This video trigger system achieves about 98% reliability.
  • An optional optical accessory can also be used to synchronize with the pulsed source.

Different measurements have different accuracy. The accuracy is also dependent upon the conditions of the signal coming into the camera. Ideal conditions consist of signal that nearly saturates the camera, and the 1/e2 width covers about 50% of the pixels. In this case the error of most measurements is less than 1%, but no greater than 5%. When fewer pixels of the camera are covered by the beam, or when the beam intensity is reduced, measurement accuracy is compromised. However, Ophir-Spiricon's Ultracal system maintains excellent accuracy down to very few pixels and very low intensity. Refer to Ophir-Spiricon's published articles for specific details.


The largest beam that can impinge directly on the camera depends on the size of the camera sensor.

  • Ophir-Spiricon offers CCD camera types, i.e. 1/1.8" format, 1/2" format, and 35mm format. The 1/1.8" format cameras, such as the SP620U and GRAS 20 can image beams as large as 7.1mmW x 5.4mmH. The smaller camera format, such as the SP503U can image beams at 6.3mmWx4.7mmH.
  • Beams can be measured in the infrared with the Pyrocam III
  • Large format digital cameras are available for high resolution and large area such as the L11058 that can measure beams up to 20mmWx13.5mmH.
  • For beams larger than those mentioned above, there are two techniques for measuring the beam.
  • One is to use a beam expander in reverse to reduce the beam width by a known factor, so that it does fit onto the camera.
  • The second method is to impinge the beam on a scattering reflecting surface, and then image that surface with a lens on the camera. In this case there is no limit to the size that the beam can be.

The smallest beam depends on the pixel pitch in the camera.

  • For 1/1.8" format cameras the pixel pitch is typically 4.4µm. At least 7 X 7 pixels should be illuminated on the camera. This means the beam should be at least 40µm to measure effectively.
  • For focused spots in the range of 10µm, a microscope objective or a re-collimation and refocus with a long focal length lens can be used. Then resolution of the camera can be effectively magnified by about a factor of 10, so that resolution less than 1µm is obtained. Thus a focused spot beam could be as small as 7µm, and an effective measurement could still be made.

Fortunately all of the latest beam profiler software are available from the web site at; You do need to fill out a short form and then you're welcome to download any of the software packages. Be sure to identify the correct package for your beam profiling system. Note; The Photon Scanning Slit Profiler software is also posted here along with the latest version of legacy beam profiling products.


You can, but when a laptop is docked you cannot use the onboard GigE connection. It is deactivated by the connection to the docking station. You must use the GigE connection on the docking station. Or, you can use the GigE to USB 3.0 adapter that is included with the Ophir-Spiricon GigE device. This adapter will also allow you to connect additional Ophir-Spiricon GigE devices to the laptop.


The answer depends on what information is wanted from the beam width.

  • The most representative measurement of a beam width in determining how the beam will propagate is the Second Moment measurement. However, the Second Moment measurement can have problems if there is diffraction in the beam before measurement, which puts a significant amount of energy in the wings. This energy may diverge faster than the rest of the beam, and if it is included in the measurement, it will give a beam width much wider than reality. However, an aperture can be used to limit the beam width measurement to energy inside these diffraction rings.
  • A second very good measurement of beam width is the software equivalent knife-edge measurement. This measurement is less sensitive to diffraction in the wings of the beam, although it will give a beam width measurement which is weighted by energy out in the wings. It is less sensitive to noise.
  • Sometimes the most important information is not the beam propagation characteristics, but how much energy is near the peak of the beam. In this case, a percent of peak beam width measurement would be more useful.

We have recently updated our website product pages to include drawings of items. If you are looking for a drawing for an Ophir-Spiricon product, please visit its product page and click on the Drawings tab. Drawings are available in a number of different formats including PDF, SolidWorks, and STEP.



The first and most common of these have to do with the operator entering the wrong wavelength value. In this case the results are often well below 1, in the .8-.9 range. The second most common cause for results <1 is due to nominal accuracy tolerances. These are normal and expected. With a 5% M² tolerance results from ~.95 to ~1.05 are very possible. Averaging runs will normally return a mean value to something > than 1, but not always.


Ophir-Spiricon LLC would like to thank its customers for the support of our long standing product the M2-200. In an effort to deliver state-of-the-art and high performance products we have decided to discontinue the M2-200 (Long Train) product. We have replaced it with the M2-200S (Short Train) product which offers faster M2 results in a more compact package. In an effort to allow customers to put in a last order for the M2-200 (Long Train) products we will continue to accept orders until July 1st, 2011. Our M2-200S product will continue to be available after that time.

The M2-200 will continue to be supported for repairs and calibrations through our customer service department.


Please check your computer operating system. Currently our software is only compatible with Windows XP, and Windows 7 32 bit or 64 bit. If you are installing on Windows 8, 8.1, or 10, we do not have drivers for these operating systems yet. We are working to release an updated application with updated drivers that will support Windows 10. Please check our web site for an updated version of the M2-200s software. If you are using one of the supported operating systems, than the driver for the motor controller probably did not install correctly. Please contact our Service Department at for instructions on how to reinstall the motor controller for your specific operating system.



The Spiricon BeamGage and LBA systems as well as the Ophir BeamStar beam profiling systems come with a camera included. Additional or replacement cameras are available as are software upgrades. It is no longer possible to use your own camera with these advanced laser beam analyzer systems.


The wavelength response depends primarily on the camera used, but also on the optics used for beam sampling.

  • CCD cameras can see 266nm to 1.3µm
  • Our Pyrocam III cameras can see 190nm to >1000µm
  • InGaAs cameras are available for the 900 - 1,700nm wavelength region.

Yes. BeamGage, LBA, and BeamStar support USB and Firewire cameras that interface to desktop as well as laptop computers. PCMCIA cards are provided with Firewire camera based systems to supply high performance Firewire ports for laptop users.


The new BeamGage application permits users to add additional calculations and computed results. These results are displayed on the screen, logged, and printed just as the standard calculations that are included with the application. Pass/Fail criteria may also be constructed with theses user defined computations.

Data files from BeamGage are available in HDF5 format which is an open source format compatible with tools like MatLab. LBA data can be exported in a number of formats such as ASCII, so that the data can be loaded into other programs for additional processing.

An ActiveX server provides LBA data, results, and beam image to another Windows application. You can also tell the LBA to Start, Stop, Calibrate and load a configuration via ActiveX. The ActiveX server works locally or over a network. Examples are provided with LBA for LabView, Excel and Visual Basic.


No. However, all files from Spiricon's earlier beam analyzers, including the LBA-100A, can be imported into the LBA system and BeamGage will import archived LBA data.

Since BeamGage supports the open source format, HDF5, so it can also import HDF5 files from other applications.


10, 12 and 14 bit systems are useful with new, low noise digital cameras. These are especially useful for viewing and measuring low level beam structure.

10, 12 or 14 bits provide better signal-to-noise ratios. This is especially useful when there is significant low level structure in the wings of a laser beam. 8 bit cameras benefit when summing or averaging is required to bring the signal out of noise. 10, 12 or 14 bit digitizers divide the noise into finer increments for a better definition of the systems noise content thus offering a more accurate analysis of the performance of the laser under test.


No. The LBA-100A is no longer provided. A trade-in allowance is provided for users who wish to trade-in an LBA-100A towards an LBA, BeamStar, or BeamGage system.


Ophir-Spiricon's Ultracal system that provides precise camera baseline settings to enable very high precise beam measurements. BeamGage and LBA utilize UltraCal to assure accurate spatial analysis including beam widths, power/energy density calculations and divergence angle measurements.

Ophir-Spiricon's commitment to innovation and improvement never sleeps. With the introduction of BeamGage, Ophir-Spiricon has again shown our ability to offer the most technically advanced laser test and measurement products to the laser industry.

Ophir-Spiricon's beam profilers offer the industry's highest resolution capability, with up to 1600 X 1200 pixels and a system dynamic range of up to 64db.

Ophir-Spiricon is famous for our total dedication to customer service. Just give us try, see for yourself.


Yes, our beam profiling and power/energy measurement systems, once installed in a computer becomes a LabView virtual instrument, and can be controlled by a remote computer, or via ActiveX.

An ActiveX server provides beam profile, laser power/energy data, computational results, and beam image. You can also tell the application to Start, Stop, Calibrate and load a configuration via ActiveX. The ActiveX server works locally or over a network. Examples are provided to quickly get you up and running. 


First let us start by describing what a Laser Beam Profile is. Typically you want to find out the intensity distribution of your laser beam so that you can make adjustments to your setup or laser to give you the best beam possible delivered to your work piece or experiment. By doing this you will reduce downtime and scrap. There are several types of profiling equipment on the market. More can be learned from our whitepapers on this subject at Here are a few examples of power spatial distribution from lasers. 

Laser Beam Analysis 
Laser Beam Analysis systems usually are a complete system where a Sales engineer meets with the customer and evaluates the needs of the customer based on their application. The system will then consist of all attenuation, sensor technology, and software that are needed to meet the customer’s requirements. This could also be considered a complete package. The BeamCube pictured below is an example of a fully integrated Laser Beam Analysis system.  
This system will take Beam Profile measurements, Temporal (Pulse Shape) measurements and Power measurements all at the same time. Each of these measurements can have a large effect on the processes you are using a laser for. Some applications require that you have a precise energy density for making the process work. Welding is an example of such an application. If the energy density is to low then the weld will not hold up. If the energy density is to high then you will blow through your weld. Temporal measurement of pulse shape can also be important in maintaining a process as some new lasers allow you to change the pulse shape of a laser for various applications. Then beam profile is usually important in most instances depending on the tolerance of your application. 
You may ask yourself what power ranges can be measured with Laser Beam Analysis equipment. There are solutions to measure lasers from nanowatts to kilowatts, and pulse widths from femtosecond to continuous wave (CW). 
Focal-Spot-Analyzer A Focal-Spot-Analyzer is a specific system containing a sensor (Camera/Scanning Slit) device based upon the beam size to look at the location and spot size of a focused spot. Cameras are an excellent solution if you would like to measure beams larger than 50 microns. Scanning slit technology lends itself to measuring small spots down to 6 microns and also the location of the exact focused spot. 
Each of the above devices can be used for measuring focused spot. The camera based system requires attenuation and thus will give you excellent results for 2d/3d and measurement of beams, but if you want to measure the exact location of your focused spot the NanoScan is the preferred device. The NanoScan is the industry standard for locating the exact focused spot. The reason is that for most applications the NanoScan does not require attenuation, so the mechanical tolerances can be measured to a high degree. We offer both of these options since there are many different types of lasers out there that need to be measured at focus. With low pulse rate lasers the camera is the best solution as the scanning slit requires laser repetition rates in excess of 1khz. If you have further questions please feel free to contact us 

Slit-Based Profilers


The detector is mounted internal to the NanoScan behind the rotating slits. This position is not important to the measurements. The measurement plane is the scan plane of the slits, which is nominally 0.74mm +/-0.025 mm from the Reference Surface on the front of the NanoScan. Please refer to the mechanical drawings in Appendix B of the NanoScan Operational Manual.


There are two different models of the LD8900 Goniometric Radiometer (far-field profiler), the LD8900 and LD8900R. The former is an 8-bit system and the latter a 16-bit and they have different controller cards and software. If you have both systems in your facility be sure that you are loading the correct software type for the instrument you are trying to operate. Mixing either the software or the controller PCBs for these will result in this non-performance symptom. Make sure that you get the correct software for your system—16-bit LD8900R for the LD8900R or 8-bit LD8900 for the LD8900.


The power meter available as a standard option on silicon and germanium detector NanoScan systems is a "relative" measurement, which means that the meter is not calibrated to an absolute standard in the factory. You need to measure the source with a calibrated power meter, and then input the value into the NanoScan software. The NanoScan will then measure relative to this measured value.


The NanoScan is a PC application and intended to operate on the Windows operating systems. However, it might be possible to use the NanoScan with a Mac, provided that the Mac has installed the Parallels and Windows operating system available from your Apple dealer. The NanoScan might operate under the virtual Windows machine, but this operation and functionality is not supported.


The NanoScan software version 1.47 for the USB interface works with Windows 7 64-Bit. NanoScan software version 2.X for the USB interface works with Windows 7 and Windows 10 64-bit.


Some users have reported an error message when attempting to install the latest versions of the NanoScan software:
Error 1330.A file that is required cannot be installed because the cabinet file C:\Users\Administrator\AppData\...\ has an invalid digital signature. This may indicate that the cabinet file is corrupt.
This error is not caused by a corrupted file or anything in the NanoScan software. Windows systems that have not been updated recently, may fail to validate the digital certificates that are now used with our installers; specifically the missing updates are any that say Œroot certificates update¹ or similar. This is a common occurrence in laboratory environments as the PCs are often isolated from the internet and/or not updated often. Updating the computer to obtain the current VeriSign certificates will resolve the problem.


There are far fewer configurations of NanoScan head than there were BeamScan models, because some of the features that were hardwired into BeamScan models are software adjustable in the NanoScan. For example, some BeamScan models were wired to run at 5Hz, instead of 10Hz, and this feature was part of the model number. This is unnecessary in the NanoScan, because the scan rate is controllable from the application software. Another model that is no longer necessary is the LL, or low light version, since the increased dynamic range of the NanoScan handles low intensities without modification. Below is a chart of the best fits for replacing a BeamScan. One thing to note; all standard NanoScan models are 63.5mm diameter scan heads, so there is no direct replacement of the XYLA (50mm) models of BeamScan.


BeamScan Model NanoScan Model
XY NS2s-Si/3.5/1.8
XYGE NS2s-Ge/3.5/1.8
XYS NS2s-Si/9/5
XYGET NS2s-Ge/9/5
XYFIR NS2s-Pyro/9/5
XYQSW NS2s-Pyro/9/5
/PWR200 /P200
Other BeamScan designations All NanoScan 2s systems are USB
0180-XYxxx Old ISA Controller card
3088-1-XYxxx PCI Controller
3088-3-XYxxx PCMCIA Controller for laptop
2180-XYxxx DOS-Based computer controller
2197-XYxxx DOS-Based computer controller (replaced 2180)
BeamScan Meters No direct NanoScan replacement
1180-CP Standalone (non computer based) with single axis Si scan head (50mm diameter with 1.8um slits)
1180-GP Standalone controller with single axis Si scan head (63mm diameter with 5 and 25um slits)
1280-XY Standalone controller with dual axis Si scan head (50mm with 1.8um slits)
1280-XYL Standalone controller with dual axis Si scan head (63mm with 5um slits)
1280-XYFIR Standalone controller with dual axis pyroelectric scan head with 5um slits



The precision and accuracy of the 3.5mm and 9mm aperture systems is the same. It is the slit width that affects accuracy; with 3% for beam diameter (dslit) and <1um 3-sigma centroid accuracy. The slit width affects beam diameter due to convolution error. However, this error is on the order of <5% when the slit is only 4x the beam diameter. Thus, this only comes into play when the beam is ~20um for the 5um slit, 100um for the 25um slit, and 7.2um for the 1.8um slit. It is also possible to correct for convolution error. This is discussed in the manual for Gaussian beams. Generally it is not an issue with most users.


This depends on the size of the beam, relative to either the slit width for "small" beams, or on the aperture diameter for "large" beams. Standard NanoScan apertures are either 3.5mm or 9mm, with 1.8µm, 5µm, 10µm, or 25µm slits. Standard Large Aperture (LA) NanoScan apertures are 12.5mm or 25mm, with 10µm or 25µm slits. (Please note that LA models are no longer available.)
The scanning slit introduces a systematic convolution error in measured spatial beam diameters that depends on the slit width "w" and the beam diameter "d". This error increases as the ratio of the slit width to the beam width increases. However, since the error is systematic it can be corrected, and this is discussed in detail in the NanoScan Manual Section 4.4.9 for TEM00 Gaussian beams.
The NanoScan accuracy specification for measurement of dslit diameter is 3% for all models of scan heads. As a rule-of-thumb, the convolution error only becomes significant for small beams when the 1/e2 beam diameter is of the order of 4 times the slit width, or d≤4w. For a Gaussian beam with d=4w the error is only approximately 3.7%.
The aperture diameter determines the largest beam that can be measured, and this depends on the shape of the beam, say Gaussian or Flat Top. A Flat Top beam can be almost the aperture size. To measure d4 it is necessary to acquire the full profile including the tail out to where the amplitude is <1digital count. For a Gaussian beam with 12-bit digitization, the beam is then limited to ~1/2.1 or ~0.476 × the aperture dimension. To be on the safe side a good rule-of-thumb here is to use a factor of 0.4, so the aperture is 2.5 × the 1/e2 beam diameter. However, if one wants to just measure a clip-level dslit diameter, it is only necessary to acquire the profile out to slightly less than the clip-level diameter. As examples, it is possible to measure a Gaussian beam with 8.9mm 1/e2 diameter using a 9mm aperture scan head. It is also possible to measure the FWHM diameter of a Gaussian beam with 15mm 1/e2 diameter.


Error Code -22 is indicating Nominal baseline could not be determined. There are several causes for this, including detector failure, detector overheating with a high power laser, failure of the amplifier gain setting interface, and too much laser illumination incident in the aperture at program launch. If this error occurs, make sure the laser is blocked from entering the scan head aperture and try restarting the software. If the system was used for high power laser profiling, let the scan head cool down before restarting the software. If these attempts fail the unit likely needs to be returned.


This indicates that the NanoScan is a legacy NanoScan sensor which is programed only for the version 1 software, which is listed under legacy software as v1.47. If you do want to use the version 2 software, it is possible and it requires the purchase of the software license key as is described in the Notes on the software download web page below the Photon NanoScan v2 download links.


The NanoScan V2 product is great for looking at focused spots, but sometimes the C-Mount ring that is on the front can get in the way mechanically. By removing the three retaining screws it will allow you to remove this ring so you can get mechanically closer to the front of the NanoScan V2. Care should be used when removing these screws and the ring so something does not fall down inside the input aperture of the NanoScan V2. It is recommended that if you are going to remove the C-Mount ring that you invert the NanoScan V2 so it is looking at the floor and then remove the screws and the C-Mount ring to allow gravity to work in your favor and pull them away from the input aperture.


ROI is “Region Of Interest”, there are 2 main reasons to use it, the first is if you like to select smaller region from the entire frame and by that to remove noise areas that can harm the measurement results. The second one is to give the ability of multiple beam analysis – up to 16 beams where separate results will be computed for each enabled ROI