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Proceedings Paper

Investigation of the accuracy of M2 measurement of CO2 laser beams
Author(s): Brooke A. Ward; Shlomo Assa; Brian W. Davis; Christopher B. Edwards; Peter F. Muys
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Paper Abstract

The propagation parameters of CO2 laser beams have been investigated using second moment and knife-edge width measurement techniques. The characteristics of two laser types have been measured: a low power stabilized single frequency instrument and a prototype 3 kW laser. The propagation parameters have been estimated by using two commercial beam analyzing instruments: a rotating drum knife-edge device and a 2D array scanner. The propagation of errors through the analysis procedures has been investigated. The experiments were designed to assess the viability of the draft ISO standard for the measurement of beam width and propagation characteristics of real laser beams. Uncertainties in the estimated beam parameters, resulting from the propagation of errors, are taken into account when assessing the relative merits of the width measurement procedures. It was found that, for the high quality laser beam investigated, there were some small but systematic variations in estimating the width of waists of subject laser beams. In the case of the lower quality, high power laser beam, both the knife-edge and second moment techniques produced estimates of the input beam waist properties that were within the experimental uncertainty limits but again some inconsistency was displayed. It is suggested that the source of the inconsistency is diffraction by hard-edge apertures in the beam path. Nevertheless, the ISO standard procedures are judged to be suitable for the measurement of important beam parameters with an accuracy that is sufficient for the majority of industrial applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 April 1995
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2375, Beam Control, Diagnostics, Standards, and Propagation, (17 April 1995); doi: 10.1117/12.206996
Show Author Affiliations
Brooke A. Ward, The Europtics Partnership (United Kingdom)
Shlomo Assa, Laser Power Optics (United States)
Brian W. Davis, Edinburgh Instruments Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Christopher B. Edwards, Oxford Framestore Applications Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Peter F. Muys, Laser Power Europe (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2375:
Beam Control, Diagnostics, Standards, and Propagation
Lindsay W. Austin; Adolf Giesen; Daniel H. Leslie, Editor(s)

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