Chris Cromer, John Lehman, and Xiaoyu Li, along with Don Dooley (Spectrum Detector), were recognized for their pioneering work in commercializing optical trap detectors for laser power measurements. These optical trap detectors represent the state-of-the-art in calibration transfer standards for laser power measurements and are critical to obtaining traceability through NIST calibration services. The novel trap design allows the measurement of a variety of optical beam geometries, thus supporting diverse optical sources such as laser beams, optical fibers, light emitting diodes (LEDs), and lamps, providing improved accuracy while increasing the tolerance to optical beam variations. The device has successfully decreased metrological uncertainty by National Metrology Institutes worldwide.
Recently, the NIST-designed detector was successfully commercialized by Spectrum Detector, Inc., working in collaboration with the EEEL researchers. The commercial availability of a metrology-grade trap-detector transfer will allow companies that manufacture and use laser power and energy meters to obtain stable, high-accuracy transfer standards, at a reasonable price. Using these advanced detectors for NIST calibrations to obtain optical power traceability will enable a widespread improvement in laser power calibrations by decreasing the uncertainty associated with the detector.