NEW OFF-SITE HIGH-POWER LASER CALIBRATION CAPABILITY.
Multi-kilowatt high-power lasers are being used today for a wide variety of industrial applications, including materials processing, cutting, and welding. Although detectors used with these laser systems need measurement traceability, the high cost of the large and expensive lasers has limited NIST to providing calibration services at powers up to only 1 kW. Recently, however, a NIST scientist has developed, tested, and implemented the capability of performing off-site laser detector calibrations at powers up to 10 kW or more. Using a special transportable calibration system composed of various optical components, a characterized transfer standard, and a compact, stable water flow system, the customer's own high-power laser can be used as the radiation source for detector calibrations. In the first official use of this system, calibrations were performed for a U.S. manufacturer of high-power laser systems using their multi-kilowatt [CO.sub.2] laser source. This off-site measurement system significantly extend s the NIST high-power laser measurement capability and will allow better support to the laser-based materials processing industry without forcing NIST to spend large amounts of money purchasing the necessary lasers.