A simple single-beam technique employing radio-frequency modulation of a tunable diode laser with homodyne demodulation is demonstrated as a means of measuring optical path lengths. This technique offers a straightforward method for determining path lengths traversed through optical multipass cells or performing optical range-finding over short (i.e., tens of meters) standoff distances. The radio-frequency phase-sensitive nature of the technique permits narrow-band detection and high signal-to-noise ratios, even when range-finding measurements are made with range resolutions of ≪1 m. This compares favorably with traditional short-pulse, wide-bandwidth optical range finders.
© 1996 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: September 7, 1995
Revised Manuscript: February 22, 1996
Published: August 1, 1996
Clinton B. Carlisle, Russell E. Warren, and Haris Riris, "Single-beam diode-laser technique for optical path-length measurements," Appl. Opt. 35, 4349-4354 (1996)