Skip to main content Skip to secondary navigation

Laser Sensors

Laser Sensors
Main content start

Why are laser sensors important?

Laser sensors provide information on the composition, pressure, temperature, and velocity of gases. These non-intrusive sensors leverage a range of leading-edge laser technologies to measure gas properties without disturbing the gas. Hanson Research Group sensors characterize gases with high accuracy and excellent temporal resolution, targeting a variety of atoms and molecules. Our sensors provide insight into chemical reactions, gas-phase properties, and the behavior of complex energy systems in real-time. The Hanson Research Group develops and deploys our sensors both in our own shock tubes and the facilities of our collaborators all over the world.

Schematic of a basic laser sensor system for measuring gas characteristics.

How do laser sensors work?

Hanson Research Group laser sensors depend on photons from the laser beam being absorbed by the molecules of the test gas. Lasers are tuned to specific wavelengths targeting specific energy modes (rotational, vibrational, and electronic) of the molecules present in the test gas. The proportion of laser light absorbed by the test gas depends on gas properties like composition, pressure, temperature, and velocity. By precisely measuring the light transmitted through the test gas, these gas properties can be accurately and quantitatively inferred.

Learn more about laser sensors