Broadband Laser Ranging (BLR) is a new diagnostic being developed in collaboration across multiple USA Dept. of Energy (DOE) facilities. Its purpose is to measure the precise position of surfaces and particle clouds moving at speeds of a few kilometers per second. The diagnostic uses spectral interferometry to encode distance into a modulation in the spectrum of pulses from a mode-locked fiber laser and uses a dispersive Fourier transformation to map the spectral modulation into time. This combination enables recording of range information in the time domain on a fast oscilloscope every 25-80 ns. Discussed here are some of the hardware design issues, system tradeoffs, calibration issues, and experimental results. BLR is being developed as an add-on to conventional Photonic Doppler Velocimetry (PDV) systems because PDV often yields incomplete information when lateral velocity components are present, or when there are drop-outs in the signal amplitude. In these cases, integration of the velocity from PDV can give incorrect displacement results. Experiments are now regularly fielded with over 100 channels of PDV, and BLR is being developed in a modular way to enable high channel counts of BLR and PDV recorded from the same probes pointed at the same target location. In this way instruments, will independently record surface velocity and distance information along the exact same path.
Corey V. Bennett, Brandon M. La Lone, Patrick W. Younk, Ed P. Daykin, and Michelle A. Rhodes, "Broadband laser ranging development at the DOE Labs," Proc. SPIE 10089, Real-time Measurements, Rogue Phenomena, and Single-Shot Applications II, 100890F (Presented at SPIE LASE: January 30, 2017; Published: 22 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2255441.
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