High energy densities, as required both in research and in industry, are achieved by the use of lasers. Extremely highpower densities are obtained in the pulsed mode with short microsecond(s) -, ns-, or even ultrashort ps- to fs- pulses. The interaction of such powerful laser pulses with any type of solid state, liquid or gaseous materials is then causing rapidly developing, nonstationary, optically nonlinear processes. Experimental investigations of these effects are therefore requiring special measuring techniques with high spatial and temporal resolution. Optical and optronical methods have proven to be particularly useful. Methods based on laser diagnostics, including high speed photography, cinematography, speckle techniques, holography, videography, infrared techniques or arbitrary combinations of these, are therefore considered to be important tools in these laser effect studies. The investigations reported in the present paper are referring to carbon dioxide-laser effects in intensity ranges which are useful for many industrial applications, such as for example in the field of material processing. Basic interest is actually in pulsed, plasma sustained laser target interaction phenomena which occur above critical threshold power densities, specific for each type of material. Surface induced, highly ionized absorption waves are then determining the energy transfer from the coherent laser radiation field towards the targets. The experiments at ISL were aimed at investigating plasma parameters and their influence on the energy transfer rates, by fast optical, electrical and optronical techniques, such as mentioned above. The results to be discussed refer to target effects, basically observed on optically transparent materials, subject to high average power pulsed carbon dioxide-laser radiation, with repetition rates of several tens to hundred pps at multi-MW/cm2 to GW/cm2 peak power densities and average power densities in the multi-kW/cm2-range.