Laser Targeting Systems
Gunsights are the most well known of laser targeting system applications. Laser modules provide targets in both for the military and sport, with a visible laser spot providing a clear indication of where a projectile will strike. This form of laser targeting system is also popular in the entertainment industry where low power laser modules mounted into cylindrical barrels are used for a range of games and activities. Laser-targeting is also used in industry, for aligning a drill or mining apparatus, or industrial machinery. Missile guidance systems use laser targeting systems, normally in infra-red, with imaging systems able to home in on reflected laser light.
Boresighting is the term used to describe how well the laser diode is aligned with the barrel of the laser module and is critical when selecting a laser system for targeting applications. Accuracy in boresighting of the laser will determine the accuracy of targeting.
A rugged laser module is often required in these types of applications to ensure that there is no damage to the laser while operating in the field and compact laser modules are also advantageous. ProPhotonix produce laser modules with 6mm diameters. Red or green laser diodes may be selected for high visibility, or infra-red may be preferred so that the target point is invisible to the naked eye but can be seen with night-vision or camera systems.