Laser beam analyzers are used to determine the quality of a laser beam. Laser beam analyzers measure beam profile, average power, energy per pulse, frequency, and temporal pulse shape. Many laser beam analyzers are portable, enabling them to be used on multiple lasers within a manufacturing or research environment. The proper selection of a laser beam analyzer requires an understanding of both application requirements and product specifications.
Laser beam analyzers provide vital information on the quality of laser beam light. Laser quality is important for maintaining the precision of laser cutting and welding processes. A laser beam analyzer can be used as a diagnostic tool, monitoring the various laser beam parameters. Many laser beam analyzers also come with data storage and analysis software.
Laser beam analyzers monitor and measure a laser beam quality parameter known as M squared. M squared is an International Standards Organization (ISO) standard used to describe how close a laser beam is to a perfect Gaussian measurement and how well the laser beam can be focused at its target. A laser beam analyzer can capture small differences in laser beam delivery due to varying tolerance ranges in lenses, mirrors, and other components, as well as any environmental conditions that may be affecting the laser beam. A laser beam analyzer can come with analog or digital camera systems and software for analyzing the images.
Laser beam analyzers include optical spectrum analyzers, which are used to examine the optical spectrum of a laser. An optical spectrum analyzer consists of a passive filter with a pair of mirrors at opposite ends of a cavity. The mirrors are separated by a piezoelectric cylinder. Voltage applied to the cylinder causes the cylinder to lengthen, shifting the transmission peaks of the analyzer allowing it to resolve the narrow spikes in the laser’s output. An optical spectrum analyzer can be used to monitor the output of argon lasers.