OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 41, Iss. 21 — Jul. 20, 2002
  • pp: 4314–4317

Automatic alignment of a displacement-measuring heterodyne interferometer

Jennifer E. Logan, Peter G. Halverson, Martin W. Regehr, and Robert E. Spero  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 41, Issue 21, pp. 4314-4317 (2002)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (112 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A technique to align automatically the beams of displacement-measuring interferometric gauges is described. The pointing of the launched beam is modulated in a circular pattern, and the resulting displacement signal is demodulated synchronously to determine the alignment error. This error signal is used in a control system that maintains the alignment for maximum path between a pair of fiducial hollow-cube corner retroreflectors, which minimizes sensitivity to alignment drift. The technique is tested on a developmental gauge of the type intended for the Space Interferometry Mission. The displacement signal for the gauge is generated in digital form; and the lock-in amplifier functions of modulation, demodulation, and filtering are all implemented digitally.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.3940) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Metrology
(220.1140) Optical design and fabrication : Alignment

Original Manuscript: October 4, 2001
Revised Manuscript: April 19, 2002
Published: July 20, 2002

Jennifer E. Logan, Peter G. Halverson, Martin W. Regehr, and Robert E. Spero, "Automatic alignment of a displacement-measuring heterodyne interferometer," Appl. Opt. 41, 4314-4317 (2002)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. For more information on the SIM, see http://sim.jpl.nasa.gov .
  2. T. Boker, R. J. Allen, “Imaging and nulling with the Space Interferometer Mission,” Astrophys. J. Suppl. 125(1), 123–142 (1999). [CrossRef]
  3. S. Hosoe, “Highly precise and stable displacement-measuring laser interferometer with differential optical paths,” Prec. Eng. 17, 258–265 (1995). [CrossRef]
  4. N. Bobroff, “Recent advances in displacement measuring interferometry,” Meas. Sci. Technol. 4, 907–926 (1993). [CrossRef]
  5. K. Miyagi, M. Nanami, I. Kobayashi, A. Taniguchi, “A compact optical heterodyne interferometer by optical integration and its application,” Opt. Rev. 4(1A), 133–137 (1997).
  6. S. Shaklan, S. Azevedo, R. Bartos, A. Carlson, Y. Gursel, P. Halverson, A. Kuhnert, Y. Lin, R. Savedra, E. Schmidtlin, “Micro-arcsecond metrology testbed (MAM),” in Astronomical Interferometry, R. D. Reasenberg, ed., Proc. SPIE3350, 100–108 (1998). [CrossRef]
  7. K. Kawabe, N. Mio, K. Tsubono, “Automatic alignment-control system for a suspended Fabry-Perot cavity,” Appl. Opt. 33, 5498–5505 (1994). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  8. P. Haschberger, O. Mayer, “Ray tracing through an eccentrically rotating retroreflector used for path-length alteration in a new Michelson interferometer,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 8, 1991–2000 (1991). [CrossRef]
  9. In addition to this geometric error, there are errors associated with imperfections in the optics, including nonplanar reflecting surfaces, corner gaps, and departures from perfect orthogonality of the surfaces. The latter may be the most significant; if there is a dihedral error ∊ deviation from 90 deg in the orientation of the cube corner faces, Eq. (1) becomes ΔL = L0θ0(Δθ + 2∊). For high-quality retroreflectors, ∊ ≈ 5 µrad.
  10. P. Halverson, D. Johnson, A. Kuhnert, S. Shaklan, R. Spero, “A multichannel phasemeter for picometer precision laser metrology,” in Optical Engineering for Sensing and Nanotechnology (ICOSN ’99), I. Yamaguchi, ed. Proc. SPIE3740, 646–649 (1999). [CrossRef]
  11. R. C. Dorf, R. H. Bishop, Modern Control Systems (Prentice-Hall, Englewood Cliffs, N.J., 2001).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited