H.E.A.T. - A PICAXE 20X2 Laser Power Meter


I wanted to build a laser power meter but I also wanted the device to function for other purposes since the anticipated use as a LPM would not provide a sufficient return on my investment.

The thought of measuring the temperature rise on an object from the absorption of energy from the laser beam seemed like something that should work, but it was a quest that took a significantly long time and lots of experimentation. In the end, a very thin silica glass slipcover (for microscope slides) was selected and painted with a very black, wide spectrum absorption film to simulate a black-body. This target allow the PICAXE 20x2 and MLX9061 temperature sensor to analyze the temperature rise from a 3mW laser pointer to a 750mW blue 1W Arctic monster and closely approximate the results of a commercial LPM.

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