How does laser power meter calibration work?
Thursday, February 13, 2020
Accuracy of readings from a laser power meter is particularly important for laser system manufacturers and laser engineers. Providing them with highly reliable power meters with the best uncertainty is an art requiring several important calibration steps.
In broad terms, the calibration process consists in verifying the accuracy of a measurement by comparing it to a reference standard. Instruments that measure a quantity require such process to minimize the measurement uncertainty.
Whether it’s weighing scale at a grocery store, the speedometer of your car, or the thermometer at your home, obtaining measurements with the lowest uncertainty possible is what gives consumers and businesses confidence and trust in their products and processes.
Like all of the previously mentioned devices, laser power detectors also go through a calibration process to allow accurate reading of power or energy parameters. A specific laser beam has many parameters which affect the power measurement process; so it is important to trust a laser detector that can maintain its accuracy for a long time and meet the end user’s need for high precision measurements.
For this reason, it is necessary for the manufacturer to follow a robust calibration process to achieve a detector with the highest accuracy, precision, reproducibility and repeatability, and the lowest uncertainty and error.
Gentec-EO calibrates every detector individually with the highest-level standards based on four main steps. First, a comparison process to a known and traceable international standard is performed. Unlike some other laser detector manufacturers, Gentec-EO uses Gold Standard references instead of Silver Standard ones, which assures the lowest calibration uncertainty to its customers.
A laser beam with an appropriate beam size (usually close to 50% of total aperture area) is centered on the absorbing surface of the detector and its energy is measured by using a NIST standard calorimeter and a well-calibrated beam splitter simultaneously, in order to find the calibration factor. Then, based on statistical calculation standards from NIST, uncertainty calculations, in which Gentec-EO uses a high confidence level of 95%, are done.
Certification is the last process in which Gentec-EO’s ISO 9001:2015 accredited quality control system is deployed for completing the certification procedure. For every single detector, fifty parameters are collected and logged into Gentec-EO’s quality system.
Above all, Gentec-EO provides the best wavelength correction tool in the market. According to the absorption curve of each detector, Gentec-EO’s personal wavelength correction data is carefully selected to ensure that the extra uncertainty from measuring at another wavelength than the calibration one is as low as possible (always less than the calibration uncertainty itself).
All these calibration phases together strengthen the accuracy of laser detectors. The only thing left for you, as a customer or potential customer of Gentec-EO is to select your laser wavelength from our displays or PC interfaces and enjoy the benefit of reading the most accurate measurement.
Feeling confident about the power of your laser system is quite important and Gentec-EO’s customers have had such an assurance for 45 years, by measuring their laser system’s power with the highest accuracy and lowest uncertainty in the market. If you too want to benefit such state-of-art technology, Gentec-EO’s product finder is here to help you.