If you want to measure the power of your laser, you need a detector and a power meter. There is a wide variety of detectors and power meters available, and not all of them are compatible with each other. They are also all designed to accommodate specific laser systems, therefore it is crucial that you select the right measurement tools.
KNOW YOUR LASER
When selecting a laser power measurement tool, it is important to know some of the finer points of your system. Getting these wrong could cause you to use the wrong tool, resulting in ineffective measurements and potential damage to the measurement device.
BEAM SIZE AND SHAPE
It is important to know both the beam size and the shape of your beam. The shape can be either circular, elliptic or rectangular. This refers to the physical shape of your laser beam when focused, along the axis, on a flat surface. The size measurements characterize the approximate size of this shape.
If you aren’t sure about these characteristics of your beam, you should be able to find them in the manual that came with your laser. Alternatively, the best way to check this is through the use of a beam profiler, if the beam profile of your laser has been measured before, then this information should be available in the report.