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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 15, Iss. 12 — Dec. 1, 1976
  • pp: 3115–3122

Absolute reference calorimeter for measuring high power laser pulses

D. L. Franzen and L. B. Schmidt  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 15, Issue 12, pp. 3115-3122 (1976)

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A calorimeter for making absolute energy measurements of high power laser pulses is described. The calorimeter, based on volume absorption in a solid, is calibrated electrically and requires no window or vacuum environment. An error analysis is included giving the systematic and random errors of the instrument for a laser measurement. Briefly, the following performance is typical of the 32-mm × 32-mm aperture calorimeter: range 0.4–15-J; random error ±0.2% (one standard deviation); systematic error ±2.3%; and an upper operational limit of 3 J/cm2. Most of the volume absorber documentation is applicable for 1.06 μm; however, the calorimeter should be useful from the near ir through the visible. Absorbers for use with CO2 lasers in the 9–11-μm range are also discussed.

© 1976 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: April 5, 1976
Published: December 1, 1976

D. L. Franzen and L. B. Schmidt, "Absolute reference calorimeter for measuring high power laser pulses," Appl. Opt. 15, 3115-3122 (1976)

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  3. The CO2 TEA laser pulse consisted of a main peak 0.2–0.3μsec long followed by a tail lasting 1–2 μsec. The peak power in the pulse could be approximated from the energy by assuming a rectangular shaped pulse 0.5 μsec long. On occasions the peak power was higher since spontaneous mode locking was observed. The pulse energy to the target was varied in steps of 1.5 by dielectric coated Ge attenuators. Energy density was determined by fitting a Gaussian to the beam profile or in instances of poor TEM00 mode quality by measuring the energy at target passing through a small circular aperture.
  4. The TEM00 1.06-μm measurements were performed independently at NBS, Washington, D.C., by A. Feldman, D. Horowitz.
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  15. CaF2 and MgO are also available as a Kodak Irtran material, Irtran 3 and 5, respectively.
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  19. The pyroelectric detector was supplied by G. W. Day, C. A. Hamilton of NBS, Boulder.
  20. Statement of Uncertainty for NBS Laser Energy Standard 1, an internal report by E. G. Johnson. This error includes all systematic errors at the 99% confidence level in addition to self-consistency requirements between three C calorimeters.

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