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Ophir Photonics Launches Thermal Laser Sensor with Fast Response Time and 2kJ Pulse Energy

Ophir Photonics Group, the global leader in precision laser measurement equipment and a Newport Corporation brand, today announced the Fast Axial OEM Sensor. The sensor is based on a novel thermopile design that provides significantly faster response times and higher power levels. Response times are up to 20 times that of traditional thermopile sensors; power and energy levels are up to 2000J for single pulses and over 20KW average power. The Fast Axial OEM Sensor is designed to handle a wide array of laser beam sizes, from 20mm to 180x180mm.

The Fast Axial OEM Sensor operates on the principle of axial heat flow in the direction of incident laser or light beams. This is instead of the usual radial flow sensor where heat flows from the center outwards. In the Axial Sensor, heat flows through a thermopile deposited as a thin layer on the surface of the heat sink. Heat flows only a small distance axially into the substrate. This results in significant improvements in response times and support for higher power levels.

"Ophir offers OEM sensors for any type and wavelength of laser, for any power or configuration," said Gary Wagner, General Manager, Ophir Photonics (U.S.). "The Fast Axial OEM Sensor is based on a unique design that delivers response times up to 20 times better than the best radial thermopile sensors, reaching 10-90% response time in 50ms. The novel design allows the sensor to be configured to support very large beams, up to 180x180mm capable of measuring over 2000J per pulse. The sensor can also handle high powers. The 180x180mm configuration can handle over 20kW of average power."

High speed, small aperture versions of the Fast Axial OEM Sensor can be used as internal monitors of high power industrial lasers; the fast response time means better control of laser power. The smaller version can measure up to 150W.

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