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Where’s the Beam?

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2001
Practical techniques streamline the alignment and precision realignment of laser beams.

Peter Griffith and Phillip Mitchell

Research and commercial laser-based systems need to align the laser beam to an optical axis. In the laboratory, operational flexibility is key because setups are modified and reconfigured routinely. In commercial products, the critical aspects are quick alignment during assembly and simple realignment to accommodate efficient replacement or repair of the laser or optics.

There are several ways to perform the positional and angular alignment of a laser beam. The most obvious is to move the laser, but this is generally the least effective approach. It is far simpler to roughly align the laser, lock it in position and steer the beam along the desired optical axis...


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