We propose a new beam-splitter system that makes it possible to use nonstabilized laser diodes for laser Doppler anemometry (LDA) systems by making the system wavelength independent. The beam splitter consists of two linear diffraction gratings that produce two parallel beams with a beam spacing that is wavelength dependent. This ensures passive wavelength compensation for the fringe spacing in the measurement volume. One can choose the distance between the two parallel beams by changing the distance between the two gratings, whereas the distance to the measurement volume can be designed by choice of a condensing lens with the proper focal length. This means that the system can be designed to have a desired fringe spacing in the measurement volume. The gratings are implemented as surface-relief holograms in photoresist, which makes it possible to mass produce the beam-splitter system at low cost through replication of the structure. The method for passive wavelength compensation for the fringe spacing is demonstrated both theoretically and experimentally.
© 2003 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 25, 2002
Revised Manuscript: July 8, 2003
Published: October 1, 2003
Steven Richard Kitchen, Carsten Dam-Hansen, and Michael Linde Jakobsen, "Quasi-achromatic laser Doppler anemometry systems based on a diffractive beam splitter," Appl. Opt. 42, 5642-5648 (2003)