What is Boresight Accuracy?
Boresight accuracy is a measure of the degree of alignment between the laser propagation axis and the mechanical axis of the laser module, as illustrated in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Calculating the boresight error
If you were to roll a laser module with poor boresighting along a flat surface, the spot would not trace a straight line, but a series of arcs, one for each rotation of the module. If you held the laser module in a fixed position and rotated it the beam would follow the outline of a circle. The smaller the diameter of the circle that you generate the better the boresighting of the laser. The tighter the boresighting the more precisely aligned the spot regardless of its orientation. This is important in some applications because the spot is required to hit a very small target so the target could be missed altogether when the rotation of the laser module changes.
Precision Alignment Applications
The importance of boresight accuracy varies between applications. In some applications where the lasers are utilized over longer working distances, such as laser surveying, a very high degree of alignment precision is required. In other applications with shorter working distances, such as alignment lasers for dental x-ray equipment, the same level of alignment precision is not required.
Although alignment precision will become more apparent the longer the working distance over which the laser is used, it is not the case that all long-range applications require a highly boresighted laser module. The laser beam alignment precision is a function of the boresight accuracy of the laser module itself, and the mounting and alignment adjustment system.
For more information on boresight accuracy and other key laser specification parameters, download our “How Customized Laser Diode Modules add value across your applications” whitepaper here.
ProPhotonix’ Photon Laser module has a maximum boresight off-axis specification of 2.0˚. An enhanced boresight option with a maximum off-axis specification of 0.5° has recently been added and is now available with both the Photon laser module and the Compact module.
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