We describe a new method for angle measurement based on the internal-reflection effect and heterodyne interferometry. A novel prism assembly is designed that can always parallel retroreflect the incoming light beams so the optical configuration is compact. As a differential common-path optical configuration is integrated into the design, the linearity of the method is greatly improved. Details of theoretical analysis of the method and experimental verification of the principle are presented. The resolution can be better than 0.3 arc sec. The experimental results and further improvements of the proposed method are also addressed.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(260.5430) Physical optics : Polarization
Weidong Zhou and Lilong Cai, "Interferometer for Small-Angle Measurement Based on Total Internal Reflection," Appl. Opt. 37, 5957-5963 (1998)