Direct diode heating in industrial applications refers to heating specific regions of a material surface with a semiconductor laser diode. This is as opposed to a fiber or solid-state laser or other non-laser heating methods. In a previous article we described reasons why direct diode heating is more effective than older methods such as IR lamps, microwaves, or forced air. One of the primary advantages of diodes is their flexibility—virtually any aspect of a diode laser heating system can be designed and optimized for performance and cost. Below are 8 factors to consider when choosing a laser diode for a direct diode heating system.
Most manufacturing processes require some form of surface heating, but many products cannot be heated directly. Examples include shrink-wrapping, bonding, and annealing. Existing solutions include IR lamps, microwaves, and forced air. None of these methods are ideal—they can be imprecise, inefficient, or even a safety concern. Diode infrared lasers are emerging as an excellent non-contact method of heating surfaces. "Direct diode heating" refers to heating specific regions of a surface with patterned laser irradiation.
Permanent hair removal requires the destruction of the hair bulb located deep beneath the skin. For this application, lasers are becoming a popular alternative to electrolysis. This shift is occurring because lasers are noninvasive and the precision of the beam minimizes unnecessary damage to the surrounding skin, resulting in less pain and fewer side-effects. Lasers emit short pulses of infrared light that pass through the skin and primarily affect only the pigmented cells within the hair bulb. The heat from the laser permanently damages the cells, which prevents any further hair production.
In military applications, the reliability of a laser diode can be a literal matter of life-or-death. Functionality is critical regardless of setting. Laser diode modules that create first light within high-energy lasers, such as those used within advanced targeting systems and directed energy weapons, face particularly brutal requirements. The environment within such lasers is often more extreme than the exterior environment. For military-grade laser diodes, there are four primary environmental considerations:
Directed energy lasers represent the next-generation capability in the defense of threats to our country and our allies. Solid-state and hybrid lasers are well suited for airborne and space-based directed energy systems. The core components inside these systems are the pump sources based on laser diodes. Performance from the Megawatts of power needed from the laser diode is the key technology to allowing directed energy laser systems to be deployed on the battlefield.
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Companies are finally recognizing what medical laser manufacturers have known for years: there is no single color of “skin tone.” In cosmetics, skin care, and clothing, companies are broadening their spectrum to broaden their customer base. Matching a skin color is difficult because there is no simple way to define what a "skin color" even means. An object's "color" is a complicated mix of the spectrum of the incident light and how that object absorbs and reflects that light. At present, skin colors are described using the Fitzpatrick scale, a qualitative method based on the light-absorption features of the skin, which determine both the skin's apparent color and its propensity to sunburn. It's important to also remember that skin is a living thing that changes thickness, color, and texture, depending on age and environment.
At this year’s Movin’ On, a conference Forbes calls, “SXSW meets CES meets NAIAS, but with a French flair and cutting-edge staging and production”, attendees witnessed tomorrow’s mobility solutions. Mass transit, electric boats, and ride-and-drive concept cars from Tesla, BMW, Honda, Nissan and others—the event promoted innovation and collaboration between startups, emerging growth and Tier 1 companies.
XPONENTIAL 2018, AUVSI’s annual conference held in Denver, Colorado, earlier this month, provided a valuable cross-section perspective of the latest in unmanned vehicles and their emerging applications. Last year there was a general interest in autonomous vehicles, with automotive technology well-represented on the trade floor, as well as tremendous interest in technical papers, including our own, Increasing Field of View and Reducing Costs in Lidar. This year was almost exclusively airborne platforms, although there was still an interesting array of ground and aquatic vehicles, including a ‘transformer,’ with air and land operation.