Eye safety assessment of VCSELs
Article by Dr. Günther Leschhorn
Vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) are perfectly suited to fulfill the requirements of present and future 3D-sensing applications. However, prior to operating VCSEL-based devices in public, manufacturers must ensure safe operation compliant with the IEC 60825-1 standard or corresponding national equivalents.
VCSELs have special properties in contrast to other typical laser sources, so the determination of the correct laser class is not trivial, and even more so because no easily understandable guideline for the assessment of VCSEL safety has yet been published. In a previous article, we discussed these specialties and outlined a guideline for laser safety class evaluation.
In this article, we present a step-by-step analysis of how to assess the laser safety of typical pulsed VCSELs and VCSEL arrays as often used in consumer electronics and automotive lidar applications. We offer two examples that represent typical challenges when dealing with VCSEL sources.