ISO 11554 on Laser Power Test Methods Updated

ISO 11554, an essential last test method standard, has just been updated.  The title is Optics and photonics – Lasers and laser-related equipment – Test methods for laser beam power, energy and temporal characteristics.  The new 26-page 4th Edition is available from Document Center Inc.

The updated ISO 11554 cancels and replaces the previous 3rd Edition.  It is considered to be a technical update.  I will review the list of changes at the end of this review.

The standard provides users and manufacturers of lasers with guidance on performing laser power (energy) measurement tests. These measurements are used to assign laser safety classifications, stability and maximum output specifications, specific application requirements, and so on.  Information on pulse measurements is also included.  A report template is part of the document.

ISO 11554 begins with the usual scope, referenced documents and definitions sections.  There is also a section on symbols and units of measurement. Then the standard reviews relevant measurement principles.  Section 6 covers measurement configuration, test equipment and other required devices.  Section 7 is on the measurements themselves, with Section 8 showing you how to evaluate your results.  As previously noted, Section 9 covers the test report.  And an Annex A is on RIN (relative intensity noise).  A 6-item bibliography completes the document.

As for the updates in this new Edition, they primarily have to do with RIN, it’s measurements, and definition.  Changes can be found in subclause 3.1, clause 4 note 3,  figure 3, subclause 7.9, 7.10, 8.9, 8.10, and clause 9.  Equation numbers were also renumbered.

As a side note, the ISO 11554 has been adopted by the EU as EN ISO 11554.  It is likely the adoption will be updated with the new ISO edition relatively quickly.

Those of you working with lasers will want to get this new edition.  Head to the Document Center Inc. webstore at to purchase your authorized copy.  Here is a direct link to the order page for ISO 11554 for your convenience.  Should you prefer cloud access to this and other ISO standards for your company, ask us about our Standards Online subscription service.  We can be reached by phone (650-591-7600) or by email ( for more information.

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