Beam Profiler FAQ’s



Because of the design of the lenses for the new BeamSquared, you will be able to use lenses on multiple systems. We have included an RFID chip on each lens which holds the information for that lens. We have also programmed the BeamSquared optical trains to have their calibration information stored in the device. With this improvement the configuration files for pairing optical trains and lenses are no longer required making lenses interchangable.


BeamGage systems and BeamSquared systems are separate and the cameras with them are not always interchangeable. However, if you currently have an SP300, SP920, XC-130, or one of our Pyrocam IIIHR or IV cameras, you can upgrade these cameras to be compatible with the BeamSquared software (Note: Pyrocams are not compatible with the optical train).
The cameras sold with BeamSquared systems are not licensed for use with BeamGage. This is an optional item that can be purchased that would allow further analysis with the camera outside of the BeamSquared software.


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 BeamSquared optical train. 


Typically, a CCD camera sensor 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 the Adjusting Brightness section in the manual). The Linear attenuators in the optical train will automatically adjust to accommodate these changes in beam intensity, so long as  the operator, has prudently selected the initial beam intensity. Thus, it is the operator's responsibility to attenuate the laser sufficiently to operate within the safe dynamic range of the BeamSquared system.


There are two common occurrences when M² results are less than 1.  The first and most common of these results from 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 is due to nominal accuracy tolerances. These are normal and expected. With a 5% M² tolerance results from ~.95 to ~1.05 are possible. Averaging runs will normally return a mean value to something > 1, but not always.


It has been suggested that if the M² results are computed to be < 1 we should display a 1 as the answer. However the algorithms in the BeamSquared software make computations and report results as the input settings and the beam samples dictate. This is done to provide useful information to the operator rather than to try and conceal the issue. 


The two software programs and their motion controller drivers cannot be installed concurrently. The M2-200s software only supports up to Windows 7 operating systems and uses older motion controller drivers where the BeamSquared software supports up to Windows 10 and uses updated motion controller drivers that are not compatible with the M2-200s system.
To operate them from the same computer requires that the computer be a Windows 7 operating system and that you uninstall the previous program including the motion controller drivers first, then reboot the computer before you can install the other software with its motion controller drivers.


BeamSquared has an Automation Interface built into it that works with .NET 4.6. The HTML based manual for how to use this interface can be found under the Programs\Spiricon Documentation\BeamSquared Automation Interface location on the computer that you have installed the software. We are continually improving this interface, so to get the latest version of the BeamSquared software visit our web site and download the latest version.