High-power laser systems require laser optics with high damage thresholds. The Active Optical Systems department of the Institute of Technical Physics operates a test facility for the qualification of laser optics and optronic components with which multiple pulse damage thresholds can also be determined. In this laser damage laboratory, standardised surveys of the damage behaviour of optoelectronics, laser and standard optics are possible under various testing conditions. In addition, the processes of laser-induced damage are analysed and evaluated – also with regard to the development of methods for protection against high-power laser radiation.
This work is carried out particularly as a service for external customers.
The damage-threshold tests are performed under class 1000 clean-room conditions and are determined in accordance with the international ISO 21254-2 standard. The tests are performed at the usual laser wavelengths in the infrared (Nd:YAG 1064 nanometres), visible (SHG Nd:YAG 532 nanometres) and ultraviolet (THG Nd:YAG 355 nanometres) spectral ranges by irradiation with nanosecond laser pulses. All measurements on optical components can be carried out under standard atmosphere as well as under vacuum conditions, in order to simulate space conditions.
All relevant laser optics for upcoming ESA missions (ADM-Aeolus and EarthCARE) have been qualified on this damage threshold test stand. In addition, mounted optics such as, for example, disc laser crystals mounted on heat sinks can be tested.