Acceptable degradation and risk the tolerable level

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able level of risk for their laser system. Acceptable degradation and risk The tolerable level of degradation in a sys- tem is entirely application-dependent. For example, a 10% reduction in transmission may be tolerable in some situations, while another system might fail if more than a percent of the incident light is scattered. According to the ISO 21254:2011 stan- dard, any detectable change in the coating is considered damage. Different laser-dam- age tests use distinct damage-detection schemes, and specific users might choose a different threshold for the signal-to-noise ratio, so different LIDT values can be pro - duced depending on how the test was per- formed (see Fig. 1). It is important to real- ize that the ISO-defined damage doesn’t necessarily imply performance degrada- tion because this is system-dependent. The amount of acceptable risk is also entirely application-dependent. No op- tic and no laser-damage testing are per- fect, so some finite risk of laser damage will always remain, even well below the LIDT. Only the system designer can de- fine the acceptable level of risk. For ex- ample, a spaceborne light detection and ranging (lidar) system with a three-year design lifetime has a much lower level of acceptable risk than a lab prototype for a multiphoton fluorescence microscope. Once the system designer understands the relevant laser characteristics, the re- quired level of performance, and the tol- erable level of risk, they can now evaluate component specifications from laser-op- tics vendors and determine if a given com- ponent will meet their requirements. That
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0 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 20 40 60 Damage frequency (%) Fluence (J/cm 2 ) 80 100 Damage frequency Fit Data July 2018 Laser Focus World 40 L A S E R O P T I C S continued decision requires an understanding of how the LIDT value is determined.
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  • Fall '19
  • Photonics, LIDT

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