Laser technology is utilized in a broad range of industries, but part of making that technology work is about utilizing tools to control and direct the laser. In a typical table laser beam setup, which is used in some applications that rely on laser technology, there are multiple components used to carry the laser and maintain its quality. Take a look at some of the components utilized in a table laser beam stabilization system.
Fast steering mirrors are used to reflect the direction of the laser beam.
The fast steering mirror is first used to reflect the original laser beam toward a beam sampler. The fast steering mirror is designed to steer the direction of the light precisely so that the quality of the beam being sent is at its peak. This component has perhaps the most important job to do in the setup because it has to automatically adjust to compensate for instability in the laser beam. Instability in the beam can be caused by things like:
- air currents
- thermal gradients
- or motion of the table setup
A beam sampler sends a small portion of light to a beam-sensing detector.
Once the fast steering mirror has sent a quality beam of light outward, it will land on a beam sampler. The beam sampler is designed to pick up a sample of the laser beam instead of the full beam. The reason for the sampling of the beam instead of carrying the full laser beam is it is easier to translate a sampling than the full beam because the light can lose its quality the further it is carried. The sampling is routed to a beam-sensing detector on the table setup.
Beam-sensing detectors route a signal back to the controller.
Once the beam sample is picked up by the beam-sensing detector, a signal is routed back to the controller. The controller then routes the laser onto the fast steering mirror again, and the entire process starts over. Through this continuous process setup, the quality of the laser is not lost, which would otherwise be hard to avoid with typical reflection processes. In some setups, multiple fast steering mirrors, beam samplers, and beam sensors are used to create a multi-loop laser system.
Getting to know the inner workings of laser beam transfer and relay is important if you want to better understand laser technology. Reach out to a laser beam technology professional for more information about the different mechanisms used.Share