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MKS Instruments releases ultra-compact power meter for high power industrial lasers

MKS Instruments has announced the Ophir Ariel, a self-contained, ultra-compact laser power meter for measuring high power industrial lasers up to 8KW.

Designed for OEM and end-user applications in closed and confined spaces, such as additive manufacturing, metal cutting, and welding, the Ariel power meter is a robust, battery-powered device that requires no water or fan cooling and is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand.

The system measures laser powers from 200mW to 8KW, and a wide range of wavelengths, including 440-550nm green and blue lasers, increasingly popular in copper welding; 900-1,100nm fibre lasers, used in most metal processing; 10.6µm CO2 lasers; and 2.94µm medical lasers.

Unlike competitive offerings, the Ariel power meter provides a range of features for more flexible measurement options: it measures a wider range of wavelengths; can be operated in continuous or short exposure mode; can be used with or without a diffuser for higher power densities; delivers 3 to 5 times faster reading times; and can be operated stand-alone or wirelessly. 

'Accurately measuring laser power is critical for ensuring product quality, repeatability of operations, and process validation in manufacturing operations,' said Reuven Silverman, general manager Ophir Photonics. 'But for high power lasers, this tends to require devices that are large and slow, making it difficult to incorporate power measurement in OEM equipment and production operations with closed and confined spaces. The Ariel industrial power meter has been created for environments not suitable for human operators and where cables or separate display units are not allowed, such as additive manufacturing chambers. Its fast response time delivers measurements in 3 seconds.'

Related: MKS Instruments announces new industrial power meter for blue, green and infrared lasers up to 12kW

The Ariel industrial power meter combines two modes of operation to deliver a large measurement range of 200mW to 8KW: (a) Measurement of the energy of a short time exposure for high power lasers up to 8KW, and (b) Longer CW power measurements for lower powers up to 500W. The system's high thermal capacity of 14kJ means it can measure several consecutive pulses with an accumulated energy of 14kJ before it needs to cool down. A detachable diffuser allows measurement of high power density beams.

The Ariel power meter is versatile and durable. It features a robust housing that is dust-proof, resistant to splashes of water, and easy to transport. Communication options include Bluetooth for passing readings from inside a closed machine to a mobile phone or laptop, and a USB-C interface. The power meter can also be operated in stand-alone mode with data displayed on a built-in 128x64 pixel LCD display or saved in internal memory.

Software support is provided by OphirStarViewer or Ophir StarLab. StarViewer is an Android app that brings laser power measurements to smartphones and tablets. Data can be displayed in a variety of formats: time-based line graph, needle display, or large numeric display with statistics. StarLab is easy to use measurement software that turns a PC into a multi-channel laser power display station. Data can be displayed graphically as line plots, histograms, bar charts, and simulated analog needles. Advanced measurement processing functions include multi-channel comparisons and user-defined mathematical equations.

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