High-power continuous wave lasers have output powers from tens of watts to hundreds of kilowatts. Their applications are anywhere localized delivery of high energy is required - manufacturing (welding, cutting, and metal additive manufacturing/3D printing), materials processing and testing, and defense. These same lasers present unique challenges for measuring their properties. Not only is measurement of the delivered laser power important (and challenging) but characterization of the beam quality and the quantifying the coupling of that beam to the material must be addressed. The High-Power Laser Applications Project exists to enhance the ability to measure high-power laser output parameters with the needed accuracy and ease of use appropriate to the application.
Traditional measurements of laser power or energy involve absorbing the laser light and measuring the resulting temperature increase of the absorber. However, as the power and total energy delivered by these lasers increases, thermal management, absorber size, and response time begin to limit the effectiveness of traditional measurement approaches. We develop and implement unique measurement approaches to facilitate applications of these high-power lasers.
Our interest is in addressing high-power laser measurements challenges, and we welcome discussions and collaborations.