Bistatic laser monitor sees through fire

April 13, 2017
Credit: Tomsk Polytechnic University (TPU)

The creation of new materials is often enabled by powerful lasers. Scientists from Tomsk Polytechnic University and the Institute of Atmospheric Optics SB RAS (IAO SB RAS) are designing an advanced bistatic laser monitor that enables observing high-speed processes hidden by background lighting, e.g. at welding. The newly developed two-laser monitor makes it possible to obtain better images and even to observe X-ray processes from a safe distance.

There are two active lasers within the monitor. The first one highlights an object or under study, while another filters the illumination and enhances the resulting image.

"Two lasers help us to overcome some restrictions of a monostatic monitor where one laser is used. For instance, they increase a limit distance. This is the biggest distance for observing the process. A single laser monitor operates at up to three meters. There are also processes with both background illumination and X-Ray radiation that can disable electronics. A bistatic laser monitor with two lasers will allow us to move away from an object for dozens of meters and to visualize complex processes," says Maxim Trigub, an associate professor of the TPU Department of High-Voltage Electrophysics and High-Current Electronics, a research fellow of IAO SB RAS.

The new version of the monitor provides for contrast images of objects and enhances the system's vision. "Enhancing the view area means that at a certain , we can see a larger area of the than before," says the researcher.

The development is intended for application in welding and foundry industries and scientific institutions. "Thus, a working single-laser prototype has already been used for joint research by the Institute of Strength Physics and Materials Science SB RAS and the Institute of Electrophysics UB RAS," says the project participant Nikolay Vasnev.

Explore further: Image: Laser testing in ESA's technical centre in the Netherlands

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