Pro-Lite Technology LLP (Cranfield, England) today announced the release of LASCAD version 3.5.4 laser cavity design software. The latest version of LASCAD incorporates a new tool called Dynamic Multimode Analysis (DMA) designed to improve the computer-aided design of actively Q-switched solid state lasers. The DMA code adds a number of important features to LASCAD, including:
• Computation of the shape and time-dependent power of a series of pulses from an actively Q-switched laser.
• Computation of the power within individual transverse modes for CW and Q-switch operation.
• Computation of the M2 beam propagation quality factor for CW and Q-switch operation.
• Modelling of the effect of hard-edged and Gaussian apertures on laser beam quality.
• Modelling the effects of resonator mirrors with Gaussian reflectivity profiles; support for “Supergaussian” reflectivity profiles is currently under development.
Thermal lensing is one of the key problems which designers of laser cavities for solid-state lasers (SSL, DPSSL etc.) must consider. LASCAD software contains all of the simulation tools necessary to accurately model the performance of a laser resonator, serving as an optical bench on a PC and helping to save time and cost. LASCAD's utility is demonstrated by the fact that nearly all leading manufacturers of solid state lasers are using it to bring improved lasers to market more quickly. Studies have shown a close agreement between simulations performed using LASCAD and the performance of the lasers in practice.