Old 07-24-2010, 09:43 AM #1
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Default DIY Beam Profiler

Hi everyone! First post. Hope to contribute in the future, but first I hope someone has some previous experience building a beam profiler.

I'm thinking of creating a beam profiler using only off the shelf parts.

First, I'd obtain a CCD camera and taking off any filters they have on it. I would then put on enough ND filters to attenuate the laser so the CCD camera isn't saturated. The laser will be mounted to a test fixture 200mm out where I'd be making my profile measurements.

I don't know if I'd need a frame grabber or not, but I'd probably grab one from Matrox if need be.

I figure that, I can extract RGB intensity values from pictures I take from the CCD camera and imported those values into Matlab to create contour graphs of the beam.

What do you think? Thanks in advance.


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Old 07-24-2010, 06:54 PM #2
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Default Re: DIY Beam Profiler

Well for a beam profiler I don't see why it wouldn't work although it would take quite a bit of work.

Not 100% sure I understand what your plans are though. Maybe I'm just missing something though lol I'm tired and at work.
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Old 07-24-2010, 07:49 PM #3
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Default Re: DIY Beam Profiler

I'm buying 10mW red lasers from Coherent. They do not come focused nor collimated, so I need to do it myself.
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:02 PM #4
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Default Re: DIY Beam Profiler

Beam profiling can be fun when you have a mode hopping unit!

Your plans sound like something that could work after some experimentation. Even 10mw will have to attenuated a lot before the CCD isn't saturated.

What is this frame grabber you're talking about? I'm not sure of how you would directly import any data straight to MATLAB. Maybe you know what you're talking about, more than I do though..
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Old 07-24-2010, 09:09 PM #5
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Default Re: DIY Beam Profiler

I deplore mode hopping, but I could see how it could be fun for others. I had to recalibrate and retest a 20mW green laser by B&W over and over again because it was mode hopping all over the place for 3 days.

I am currently making this test fixture to align lasers for a Axon 4000B, and must be able to resolve resolutions down to 5 microns so it's at utmost importance that my red laser is well profiled before I align them. The green laser comes collimated and focused already, so it's only the red laser I need to worry about.

I would use the frame grabber to grab live images from the CCD camera so I can extract the RGB values from it ... or that's the plan at least.
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Old 07-25-2010, 03:14 PM #6
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Default Re: DIY Beam Profiler

If you wire up your detector to a microcontroller and output signal from your detector, it wouldn't be hard for me to put together software to render a clean image of the profile. If you happen to get more info, drop me a PM.

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