BRISTOL INSTRUMENTS, INC., located near Rochester, NY, was founded in January, 2005, by three technical and marketing leaders of the now-defunct Burleigh Instruments. Together, this group has over 70 years of combined experience in the design, manufacture, and marketing of lasers and precision test instruments used in basic and applied research, engineering, and production test applications.

The company currently focuses on the scientific, fiber communications, and optical metrology markets. The scientific market consists of researchers at universities, government laboratories, and industry who are involved in fields such as chemistry, physics, and optics. The fiber communications market consists of R&D and manufacturing engineers who need to accurately test DWDM components and transmission systems with respect to absolute wavelength. And, the optical metrology market consists of manufacturers that need to precisely measure critical physical dimensions of materials such as specialty plastic films, medical membranes, and ophthalmic products.

The primary technology utilized by Bristol Instruments is optical interferometry. Detailed analysis of interference phenomena, a consequence of the wave properties of light, can result in a variety of precise measurements. In particular, Michelson and Fizeau interferometer-based technologies are employed to develop instruments that provide reliable accuracy.


Bristol Instruments has developed a family of optical wavelength meters specifically designed for WDM testing applications. These instruments are ideal for the precise wavelength characterization of tunable WDM lasers, DFB lasers, and VCSELs. Bristol Instruments also offers multi-wavelength meters to fully characterize WDM transmission signals. With features such as straightforward operation and rugged design, these systems satisfy the needs of both the R&D scientist and the manufacturing engineer.

  • 228 Series: Single-wavelength, CW signals
    The 228 Series Optical Wavelength Meter combines high accuracy and exceptional repeatability to achieve the most meaningful results for DWDM test applications. This system measures the wavelength of CW lasers to an accuracy as high as ± 0.3 pm.
  • 328 Series: Single-wavelength, CW and modulated signals
    The 328 Series Optical Wavelength Meter is virtually identical to the model 228, except that it employs a fast Fourier transform analysis of the optical signal. This results in the ability to measure the wavelength of CW and modulated lasers to an accuracy as high as ± 0.3 pm.



Bristol Instruments’ wavelength meters provide accurate information for researchers who need to know the exact wavelength of their lasers. These systems use proven Michelson or Fizeau interferometer-based technology to measure absolute wavelength to an accuracy as high as ± 0.0001 nm. To achieve the reliable accuracy that is expected from Bristol Instruments, all wavelength meters use a built-in wavelength standard for automatic calibration. Systems are available for CW and pulsed lasers that operate at wavelengths from 350 nm to 12 µm.

  • 621 Series: CW lasers, 375 nm – 12 µm
    The best way to determine the absolute wavelength of CW lasers is with the 621 Series Laser Wavelength Meter. This system provides real-time laser wavelength information measured to an accuracy as high as ± 0.2 parts per million (± 0.0001 nm at 1000 nm).
  • 821 Series: Pulsed and CW lasers, 350 nm – 1.7 µm
    The 821 Series Pulsed Laser Wavelength Meter provides accurate wavelength information for researchers who need to know the exact wavelength of their CW laser, pulsed laser, or OPO. A unique Fizeau interferometer-based design measures absolute wavelength to an accuracy of ± 600 MHz.
  • 521 Series: CW lasers, 400 – 1700 nm, low-priced alernative
    The 521 Series Laser Wavelength Meter is for scientists and engineers who need to know the absolute wavelength of their CW laser, but do not need to know it to the highest accuracy available. The model 521 is a unique system that couples accurate wavelength measurement and affordability in a compact instrument.


The spectrum analyzers from Bristol Instruments provide the most complete wavelength and spectral characterization of CW and high-repetition rate pulsed lasers that operate from 375 nm to 12 µm. These systems combine proven Michelson interferometer-based technology with fast Fourier transform analysis for accurate measurement of absolute wavelength to ± 0.0001 nm and high resolution spectral analysis to 2 GHz. As with all products from Bristol Instruments, every measurement is guaranteed by continuous calibration with a built-in wavelength standard.

  • 721 Series: CW and pulsed lasers, 375 nm – 12 µm
    The 721 Series Laser Spectrum Analyzer operates both as a high-accuracy wavelength meter and a high-resolution spectrum analyzer resulting in the most complete spectral characterization of CW and high-repetition rate pulsed lasers. Absolute laser wavelength is measured to an accuracy as high as ± 0.2 parts per million (± 0.0001 nm at 1000 nm), and the laser’s spectrum is determined to a resolution as high as 2 GHz.


Bristol Instruments’ optical thickness gauge provides precise thickness information that is critical in the development and production of a variety of materials. These include ophthalmic products such as contact and intraocular lenses, medical products including balloon catheters, stents, bags, and tubing, as well as specialty plastic films, laminates, and flexible packaging.

  • 157 Series: ± 0.1 μm accuracy for materials 12 μm to 8 mm thick
    The optical thickness gauge uses the same proven interferometer-based technology that is used in Bristol's laser wavelength meters and laser spectrum analyzers. Absolute thickness from 12 µm to 8 mm is measured to an accuracy of ± 0.1 µm and with a repeatability of ± 0.05 µm. This performance is guaranteed by continuously referencing to a built-in standard of length, resulting in the reliable accuracy that is expected from Bristol Instruments and is required for the most demanding applications.