Montana State University uses QE series to teach students about laser eye safety

The Optical Technology Center (OpTeC) of Montana State University won a QE25LP-S-MB-INT in the first edition of the Gentec-EO Laser Lab Awards.

It turns out that our product found a good home because it is being used in a way that contributes to make the laser world safer for many people’s eyes.

How the Gentec-EO laser energy meter is being integrated in their courses

Montana State University is one of the very few academic organizations where students are routinely taught how to design, build, calibrate, and operate lidar systems for a wide range of applications. A badly neglected part of lidar education (and, more broadly, laser education) is laser eye safety. Therefore, they incorporated their new laser beam measurement instrument into undergraduate and graduate courses to teach about laser eye safety for lidar designers.

More specifically, our laser energy meter is being used in the following courses:

  1. Remote Sensing Systems (as part of the radiometry and lidar segments)
  2. Optical Design (as part of the applications section for lidar design)
  3. Electro-Optical Systems (undergraduate course introducing students to optics lab methods, etc.)

Useful in a wide range of real-life applications

The focus is on measuring energy for pulsed lasers and lidar systems. They teach students how to measure pulse energy and calculate peak power and average power, then relate those numbers to laser eye safety calculations, which are very different for CW and pulsed lasers. The students are then given the opportunity of performing their own design calculations for lidars that are being used at Montana State University for applications that include:

  • Atmospheric gas measurements
  • Cloud and aerosol measurements
  • Airborne detection and mapping of invasive lake trout in Yellowstone Lake
  • Mapping of flying insects for ecology studies
  • Lidar for autonomous vehicle perception

 

An actual example of use in their lab

In the photo below provided by Professor Joseph Shaw, they are using their new all-in-one QE25LP-S-MB-INT laser energy detector to measure the pulse energy of a Nd:Yag laser that is being incorporated into a polarimetric lidar system. They need to know the pulse energy so they can properly account for laser damage thresholds in the optical components and accurately calculate expected system performance.

Gentec-EO is proud to see its products being used at OpTeC in a such a great way. We are happy to contribute to making the laser world a little safer and to do our part in these students’ education.


Gentec-EO
Gentec Electro-Optics is specialized in laser beam and terahertz source measurement and analysis. With an outstanding 50-year track record of innovation, developing and providing state-of the-art technologies to the laser market, Gentec-EO has become The Expert of the laser beam measurement field. For all sorts of laser applications from the factory to the hospital, laboratory and research center, Gentec-EO offers the broadest range of off-the-shelf and custom solutions, and stands ready to serve you now and in the future.
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