- R&D 100 Awards
The Radiation Pressure Power Meter performs high power, continuous wave laser measurement utilizing radiation pressure. The power of the beam is measured as it is reflected off of the instrument and can be directed at a work piece or target, making real-time measurements possible. Traditional power measurements have been made by absorbing the laser radiation and measuring the heat rise in a calorimeter. In a thermal design, the user will need to direct the energy to the calorimeter, make a measurement, redirect the energy to the application of interest (welding, cutting, heat-treating etc.), and then go back and measure again. This can lead to inconsistencies in measurement. Using the Radiation Pressure Power Meter, the power of the beam can be measured while it is actively being used. The meter has multiple applications. It has been utilized in research using radiation pressure to provide spacecraft propulsion or Photonic Laser Thruster under a NASA grant. In addition, a physical measurements laboratory has been using the technology to allow real-time power measurements during laser welding operations using a fiber delivered 10KW beam at 1060nm.