Laser power sensor is a detector that absorbs a laser beam and outputs a signal proportional to the beam’s power, usually calibrated with a defined accuracy to a specified standard and used as the input of a laser power meter. The type of sensor to be used depends on various details of the laser beam being measured, including power level, spectral region, beam size, and others. For example, sensors for measuring powers from several microwatts up to 100 Kilowatts or more are generally based on thermal detectors of various types, while photodiode-based detectors are usually the choice for lower powers down to nanowatts or picowatts.
Ophir provides two types of power sensors: Photodiode sensors and Thermal sensors. Photodiode sensors are used for low powers from femtowatts up to hundreds of milliwatts and as high as 3W. Thermal sensors are for use from fractions of a microwatt up to tens of thousands of watts. Thermal sensors can also measure single shot energy at pulse rates not exceeding one pulse every ~5s.