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1 August 2010 Dual-frequency sweeping interferometry for absolute metrology of long distances
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Frequency sweeping interferometry (FSI) is a technique where absolute distance measurements are made without ambiguity, using synthetic wavelengths resulting from frequency sweeps. Accuracy is mainly dependent on the synthetic wavelength measurement using a Fabry-Pérot interferometer to count resonances as frequency sweeps. Measurement uncertainty increases with distance due to propagation of uncertainty in the synthetic wavelength measurement. For large distances, the number of fringes dominates performance, leading to a linear decrease of accuracy with range. To overcome this problem, the dual FSI concept was introduced, where the measurement process for large distances is reduced to the close-range case, by limiting the interferometer optical path difference. This is achieved by increasing the reference arm with a long reference fiber, and using an ancillary interferometer to calibrate the fiber length continuously. This dual FSI concept was implemented and fully tested in view of ESA-PROBA3 space mission. The sensor is composed of an external cavity diode laser, a high-finesse Fabry-Pérot interferometer, and a dual measurement system. Accuracies better than 32 µm for a measurement range from 51 to 61 m were achieved using a reference fiber with 71 m, while maintaining the reduced complexity inherent to FSI technique, which is mandatory for space applications.
©(2010) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Alexandre P. Cabral, Manuel Adler Abreu, and José Manuel Rebordão "Dual-frequency sweeping interferometry for absolute metrology of long distances," Optical Engineering 49(8), 085601 (1 August 2010).
Published: 1 August 2010

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