Peak Power Calculator

This calculator is used to find the Peak power of an Optical or RF pulse. It also gives the RMS power.


In the picture below, the Pulse Width is dT and it repeats with a period T

Peak and Average Power

What is duty cycle of a signal?

The duty cycle is the fraction of time for which the pulse is On. Mathematically it is computed as the ratio dT/T. If the pulse has a width of 0.1 second and repeats every 10 seconds, the duty cycle is 0.01 or 1%.


Use the tool below to calculate the Peak power. Enter

  • Average power,
  • Pulse width and
  • Pulse repetition time



The peak power formula is

Ppeak = Pavg * T/dT


  • Ppeak is the peak power
  • Pavg is the average power

The average power is directly proportional to the pulse width dT and inversely proportional to the pulse period T.

How is this formula derived?

Ppeak is the energy associated with every pulse and therefore Ppeak = E/dT

Pavg is the energy averaged over the period T, Pavg = E/T

Solving for E, Ppeak *dT = Pavg *T

or Pavg = Ppeak *dT/T

Example Calculation

For an average power of 10 Watt, dT = 0.1 second and T = 1 second, the duty cycle is 10% and the peak power is 100 Watt.


Peak power and average power are two important measurements in the field of electrical engineering.

Peak power refers to the maximum power output achieved by a system during a specific time interval. In the above case referred to as dT. It measures the highest level of power that is sustained for a short duration.

On the other hand, Average power represents the power output over a longer period of time. In the above case T. It takes into account the fluctuations and variations in power levels.

Peak vs Average power analysis helps to understand the overall power consumption and performance of a system. Peak power is useful for analyzing short bursts of power, such as in high-speed electronic circuits or in communication systems during transmission of data packets.

Average power, on the other hand, provides a more accurate representation of the power consumed by a system over an extended period of time. Therefore, both peak power and average power are important parameters to consider when analyzing the power characteristics of a system.


[1] Photonics Technical Note by Newport Solutions

[2] Wikipedia article on Power