How to sense the presence of a 785 nm laser wave

Not sure if this is the correct category. I am a land surveyor, and I have a robotic total station that is used to measure the location of a prism. It is robotic in the sense that it is controlled remotely by a “remote controller”. In order for the total station to “find” the prism, the remote controller emits a laser beam at 785 nm. It is a Class I laser device. There is a receiving window on the total station and inside a beam detector which receives the laser beam emitted by the remote controller. This system is not working on my instrument, and I’d like to troubleshoot and find a way to determine whether the laser beam is being emitted in the first place. What device or electronic component (other than my eyes, not safe) can be used to determine whether the laser is being emitted? A photodiode? A photodetector? Something else? Any tips on how to set up a circuit for this purpose would be most appreciated.

I’m not sure it helps, but this video shows what I am dealing with and might give context.

Hello Alex1,

I’m not sure the best way to set up a circuit for this purpose.
Hopefully one of the engineers on the forum can give their advise.

Many cell phone cameras lack IR filtering (particularly on the front-facing camera) and can be used to detect near-infrared light. Quite expedient when it works…

Thank you Rick, that’s a great suggestion.

That worked great! I was able to determine using that technique that the laser beam emitter on the remote controller was doing what it was supposed to do. That told me to focus on the total station, and I have since been able to correct the problem. Thank you again!