January 21, 2009--David Clarke of Litron Lasers (Rugby, England) has come up with a no-nonsense way to demonstrate the ruggedness of his company's lasers. The demo is so no-nonsense, in fact, that Litron's laser test engineer was horrified, says Clarke. As a former optical engineer who spent many an hour tweaking laser optical systems in labs, I myself cringed when I saw the video of Clarke's test. But watch it and you will have to admit that it's convincing.
Litron's product line is built around pulsed and continuous-wave Nd:YAG and Nd:YLF lasers, all designed and manufactured by Litron in Rugby. The ruggedness test was done on the Nano L, one in the company's Nano series of pulsed Q-switched Nd:YAG lasers. The Nano lasers range in size and output from the Nano O, with a 230 x 78 x 55 mm package, repetition rates of up to 30 Hz, and 1064 nm pulse energies of up to 100 mJ, to the Nano TRL, with pulse energies of up to 850 mJ (10 Hz rep rate) or 120 mJ (200 Hz rep rate) or many variations in between.
Some notes on the Nano line:
--the lasers are available with either a stable resonator, for greatest flexibility, or a Gaussian unstable resonator, for greatest average power
--harmonic-generation modules are available for all Nano lasers, giving access to 532, 355, 266, and 213 nm light
--the laser heads are manufactured from a solid block of aluminum
--applications include spectroscopy, remote sensing, OPO pumping, LIDAR, and particle image velocimetry (PIV); there is a line of Nano lasers created especially for PIV
The Nano lasers have many other features not listed here. But one more feature that I'd like to mention is that they can survive the David Clarke ruggedness test.