Currently, there is a trend towards operating high-energy classes of lasers, but when using them, some aspects, such as certain safety precautions, must be taken into account. The eco Competence Group Networks is offering an exchange on laser safety on 5 May from 11.00-12.30, where laser expert, Dr Eric ten Have, Development Associate at Corning Optical Communications, will share his expertise. In a short interview, he gives a first insight into possible main topics that can be deepened in the exchange.
Why is there a trend towards higher-power lasers for data transmission?
Higher-power lasers allow for greater ranges and data transmission rates, as they enable advanced modulation technologies such as, e.g., PAM4 in existing networksFor data transmission over longer distances, for example, the distance between amplifiers can also be increased in this way. In wavelength multiplexing (WDM) applications, a higher laser class may also be due to combining multiple wavelengths.
What factors should be considered when switching to class 3 and 4 lasers?
Employers can implement laser protection for class 1 and 2 lasers with relatively small additional effort. However, the appointment of a laser protection officer is mandatory for the operation of class 3 and 4 lasers. This supports the employer in laser protection and in monitoring the safe operation of the lasers.
Which safety aspects are to be particularly observed when using high-power lasers?
The protection of workers is always in the foreground. Concrete measures depend on the respective light source and the local conditions. Suitable protective measures, which can be of a technical, organisational or personal nature, are determined via the risk assessment. Due to the high sensitivity, the eye is particularly at risk, but high power levels can also result in skin damage. When using high-power lasers, secondary risks, such as the risk of fire, must, of course, not be ignored.
Dr. ten Have, thank you very much for the interview!