Lasers are extremely important devices used in a variety of industries, including aerospace and industrial fields. Unfortunately, there are a lot of factors that detract from beam alignment, which is needed for precise and effective operation. Lucky for you, there are plenty of ways to realign laser beams back to their optimal direction. 

Fast-Steering Realignment 

Perhaps the most common way to realign beams is with the use of two mirrors. Fast-steering mirrors, in particular, are advantageous because they feature a fast response compared to other mirror types. This is important for many precision applications.

These mirrors also feature high-tech actuators that provide even, smooth torque to each mirror. They will last much longer, subsequently. Lastly, their optical performance is much higher than other mirrors. 

Fast-steering mirrors are fairly straightforward in terms of operation. The first mirror moves the beam toward the second mirror, which then positions the beam in the desired direction. These steps are seamless and without vibration, a necessary design for accurate performance. 

Manual Alignment 

If your company or department needs a more affordable solution to beam misalignment, manual alignment may be the better option. Instead of fast-steering mirrors, manual mirror mounts are used. These mounts will need to be adjusted by a qualified technician before the system can function normally.

The technician ensures proper alignment by utilizing precision crosshairs or position-sensing photodetectors. Although manual alignment is the more cost-effective option, it does come with some noticeable disadvantages. For example, these mirrors can't account for transient errors. There is also downtime between laser beam operations, until the beam is properly aligned by a certified technician. This may be burdensome if you're on a time crunch. 

Dynamic Compensation 

A recent development in beam realignment is dynamic compensation. It's unique in that it relies on tip/tilt mirrors, which are extremely fast and reliable. These mirrors are designed to account for both internal and external vibrations. When taken out of the equation, you can reduce the amount of required adjustments.

Additionally, even if you're working with sensitive laser beam parts and systems, they will still provide reliable performance when exposed to extreme environments. Such a design makes dynamic compensation ideal for various military applications. 

As you can see, there are many ways you can keep laser beams aligned properly. Assess the different options and choose one that makes sense for your company, based on the available budget and specific beam applications you have in mind. Contact a company, like nPoint, for more help.