1 September 2015 Auto-elimination of fiber optical path-length drift in a frequency scanning interferometer for absolute distance measurements
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Abstract
Because of its compact size and portability, optical fiber has been wildly used as optical paths in frequency-scanning interferometers for high-precision absolute distance measurements. However, since the fiber is sensitive to ambient temperature, its length and refractive index change with temperature, resulting in an optical path length drift that influences the repeatability of measurements. To improve the thermal stability of the measurement system, a novel frequency-scanning interferometer composed of two Michelson-type interferometers sharing a common fiber optical path is proposed. One interferometer defined as origin interferometer is used to monitor the drift of the measurement origin due to the optical path length drift of the optical fiber under on-site environment. The other interferometer defined as measurement interferometer is used to measure the distance to the target. Because the optical path length drift of the fiber appears in both interferometers, its influence can be eliminated by subtracting the optical path difference of the origin interferometer from the optical path difference of the measurement interferometer. A prototype interferometer was developed in our research, and experimental results demonstrate its robustness and stability. Under on-site environment, an accuracy about 4 μm was achieved for a distance of about 1 m.
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Long Tao, Long Tao, Zhigang Liu, Zhigang Liu, Weibo Zhang, Weibo Zhang, } "Auto-elimination of fiber optical path-length drift in a frequency scanning interferometer for absolute distance measurements", Proc. SPIE 9576, Applied Advanced Optical Metrology Solutions, 95760V (1 September 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2186377; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2186377
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