SE3116 Laser and Optical Systems

This course discusses the fundamentals of lasers and laser optics as systems with an emphasis on design and practical applications. General topics include lasers, laser types, laser components, beam propagation, laser optics, optical materials and instruments, beam scanning, radiometry, detectors and how these concepts are combined to design laser systems with characteristics required for various applications. Laser system topics include a rate equation description of laser action facilitating modeling and performance estimation, wavelength selection options (energy levels and transitions), how prime power is converted into useful laser output (pump mechanisms), laser beam quality and its control (resonators, modes, and mode control), propagation of laser radiation, generation of specific time-dependent outputs (Q-switching, mode-locking, and modulation), frequency conversion and other nonlinear effects. Optical system topics include characteristics and fabrication techniques for optical components, image formation and image quality metrics, aberrations and their correction, devices utilizing polarization, interferometers and spectrometers, control of stray light & unwanted reflections, optical mounting techniques, gimbaled optical systems, line of sight stabilization, and optical measurement and testing systems. 


None. Knowledge of systems engineering fundamentals is recommended.

Lecture Hours


Lab Hours


Quarter Offered

  • As Required