Online Damage Threshold Calculator Takes the Guesswork out of Laser Measurement

Our easy-to-use tool tells you if your power or energy sensor can measure a particular laser without being damaged.

July 27, 2022 by Coherent

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Figure 1: An example of a 10W calculation with an 0.5 mm diameter beam, which is just beyond the damage limit.


Coherent makes nearly 200 different sensors for measuring laser power and energy over an enormous operating range – average powers from nanowatts to multi-kW, pulse energies from nanojoules to over 10 Joules, and wavelengths from the deep UV to the far IR. The first step in getting accurate measurements with these precision tools is picking the right sensor and coating for your task. Next, it’s important to understand the operational limits of the device to avoid damaging it in use. 

Our product literature usually gives you a starting point for making that determination. We often provide a damage threshold number that applies to a specific wavelength and laser pulse length or average power. But, because of the large operating range of our sensors, it’s quite possible that you’ll use the device under very different conditions than this one value. And there’s simply no way for us to provide you comprehensive information on damage threshold in a single graphic or static table. 

Measure with confidence

But now there’s a better way. Our new online laser damage threshold calculator gives you a quick, easy way to identify the safe operating limits for your particular sensor under your exact operating conditions. You just select your sensor type and then fill in the relevant beam parameters, like pulse energy, average power, beam diameter, and so on. The calculator immediately displays a go/no indication, plus the percentage of the damage threshold for those input values. You can also easily cycle through all the coating options to see which ones will work best. In each case, the calculator tells you how much headroom you’ve got to work with and allows you to see if making slight changes, like increasing beam diameter, are needed to get back into the safe operating range. 

Browse our huge selection of laser power and energy measurement sensors and meters. And choose with confidence by using the online damage threshold calculator.

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Figure 2: An example of the same 10W calculation showing the measurement is in the safe zone when the beam is increased to 1 mm diameter.


Not sure which absorber coating you need?

Use our damage threshold calculator to input your laser parameters, calculate the power and energy densities, and compare damage limits of different sensor coatings.

Launch the Calculator