The effect of high-energy laser radiation on various target structures and materials is diagnosed by a variety of measurement methods. In addition to conventional video technology and spatial and temporal temperature profile measurement, these also include infrared and high speed video on stationary and moving targets. To analyse the irradiation procedures, a special lighting system is used in synchronisation with a high-speed camera to make fast processes visible. Overexposure of the camera by the luminous phenomenon of the melting occurring at the target, as typical in conventional video technology, is eliminated. The melt flow and the damage threshold are clearly detectable. By additionally using a thermal imaging camera, the thermal input entry zone and the thermal flow can be determined directly from the temporal changes in a false colour image.
In addition to laboratory studies on the effect, test series are also performed under realistic atmospheric conditions. The 130-metre optical test range is available for this, the influence of weather conditions on the efficiency of the laser effect can be studied on it in detail.
Test series to evaluate remote laser effects on moving objects with tracking-laser radiation are also possible on the optical test range. The information derived is the basis for establishing the requirements for efficient tracking systems as needed, for example, for laser-based orbital data acquisition of space debris and, ultimately, for its laser-based removal.