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  • BeamWatch Noncontact Industrial Beam-Monitoring System
Sep 2013
Ophir - Spiricon LLC, PhotonicsRequest Info
SCHAUMBURG, Ill., Sept. 13, 2013 — Ophir Photonics, a Newport Corp. brand, has introduced the BeamWatch, a system that provides noncontact monitoring of focus spot size and position for high-power YAG, disk, fiber and diode lasers in the 980- to 1080-nm range. It is suitable for materials processing applications such as laser cutting, ablating, sintering, drilling and welding.

Unlike a conventional system, which places a probe in the beam and takes up to two minutes to gather data and characterize the beam, the BeamWatch takes measurements every 60 ms, measuring the Rayleigh scatter caused by the beam. Besides instant readings of focus spot size and beam position, this process provides dynamic measurements of focal plane location during process startup.

The image seen in the instrument is not the laser beam itself, but rather the “Rayleigh scatter created by the beam as it travels through the instrument. It’s like measuring the beam sideways without interfering with the beam,” said Gary Wagner, general manager of Ophir Photonics (US). He said that the measurement process provides accurate readings of focal length, which affects how quickly material can be melted and various thicknesses processed.

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fiber laser
A laser in which the lasing medium is an optical fiber doped with low levels of rare-earth halides to make it capable of amplifying light. Output is tunable over a broad range and can be broadband. Laser diodes can be used for pumping because of the fiber laser's low threshold power, eliminating the need for cooling.
YAG laser
A solid-state laser using yttrium aluminum garnet as the matrix material, doped with neodymium (Nd:YAG).
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