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Proceedings Paper

Laser damage threshold: useful idea or dangerous misconception?
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Paper Abstract

The concept of a laser damage threshold as a safe operating level is both useful and confounding. This paper examines and analyzes the power of the concept of a laser damage threshold, identifying the good and the danger in its use. The history of the definition and concept of the laser damage threshold is traced from the earliest days of the laser through to the present day. Criteria for an accurate threshold measurement are presented and distribution of the weakest site on an optic is derived to provide a basis of analysis. Using a pedagogically selected defect distribution, the statistics of the weakest site are derived. The dependence of the weakest site on the area of the test is shown explicitly. It is argued that typical small area tests, characteristic of most main stream damage tests have insufficient area to include the true weakest site, and are therefore generally inaccurate. The paper concludes with some ideas on how to redefine the threshold measurement technique resulting in a more accurate test procedure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 November 2015
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 9632, Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2015, 96320P (23 November 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2195271
Show Author Affiliations
Jonathan W. Arenberg, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9632:
Laser-Induced Damage in Optical Materials: 2015
Gregory J. Exarhos; Vitaly E. Gruzdev; Joseph A. Menapace; Detlev Ristau; MJ Soileau, Editor(s)

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