PowerMax Laser Power Meters

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Coherent Inc. has expanded its PowerMax-USB/RS series of laser power measurement products with the addition of several new sensors.

Introduced in December 2009, the power meters were the first to integrate a sensor head with complete meter electronics that are miniaturized within a USB 2.0 or RS 232 cable connector. The original product offering included optical and thermopile sensors that enabled laser power measurement up to the tens of watts range. The new PowerMax sensors extend this into the kilowatt range.

The new water-cooled thermopile sensors can measure laser power from 1W to 1 kW, anywhere over the 250-nm to 10.6-μm spectral range. The 1-kW sensor is available in a post mounted configuration, suitable for laboratory use, as well as a more compact form intended for ease of integration into embedded OEM applications.

Other new additions to the product line include a series of convective air-cooled, single-element thermopile sensors that allow power measurement in the 10-mW to 30-W range, from wavelengths of 190 nm to 11 µm. These sensors can withstand higher average powers in a smaller package than the previously available LM-series models, and they typically have a lower noise floor. This combination of smaller size and higher performance makes them useful for embedding into tight spaces in demanding laser-based systems.

As with all previous PowerMax-USB/RS products, these use proprietary PowerMax PC applications software as a virtual instrument interface, enabling the operator to take laser power readings, log data and compute measurement statistics. Users can also write their own software using host interface commands that control all aspects of power meter operation. The sensors also offer a lower total system price, as well as reduced calibration costs, since extra calibration for a separate meter is not involved.

Published: July 2010
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