Laser Power Meter Usage in Law Enforcement
The Ophir Nova or Laserstar series power meters, along with the appropriate photodiode sensors are used on a daily basis for technical support and calibration of police lidar devices. Lidar instruments help enforce speed limits and they are also used at crime scenes and vehicle crashes in order to accurately reconstruct scenes.
These instruments offer pretty straightforward software so that now, for the first time, police can actually measure the speed, direction of travel and now, the most recent technology can measure the distance between two moving vehicles. Amazingly, based on the speeds of the cars, the devices calculate the vehicles’ closing time.
It’s of utmost importance that these instruments make accurate measurements of power output, wavelength frequency and beam dispersion angle. The technology must be able to stand up to court challenges and analyses by professionals. In order to achieve this reliability, these devices are required to be periodically maintained and documentation to that effect is often requested. Independent lidar certification companies depend on Ophir products to accomplish that task.
Using the Ophir Nova or Laserstar power meters, together with Ophir’s excellent data collection software package, StarCom , we are able to make permanent data file records of each instrument’s certification profile and include hard copies of the charts generated by each instrument under test for presentation in the courts at some future date.
It has been determined that each instrument has its own unique signature which is repeatable over time, somewhat like a fingerprint. Having this baseline of expectations, we can far more easily diagnose and pinpoint any potential problems or malfunction that might arise in the future by comparing the current digital fingerprint to one taken previously.
Use of the Nova or Laserstar and StarCom in combination results in a low cost but very impressive data collection product that is convincing to the non-technical and hard to challenge by the professionals analyzing the data.
Read the full article by Dick McCreary of Ohio Calibration laboratories.
Lidar. Photo source: Wikipedia
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