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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Editor: James C. Wyant
  • Vol. 45, Iss. 25 — Sep. 1, 2006
  • pp: 6487–6496

Design and analysis of an optoelectronic inclinometer for simultaneous measurement of inclinations along two orthogonal directions

Chun-Jen Chen and Psang Dain Lin  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 45, Issue 25, pp. 6487-6496 (2006)

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Conventional inclination measurement systems such as precision vials and capacitance measuring systems can measure inclination in only one direction at a time. We present what is believed to be a new optoelectronic system that can measure inclination angles along two orthogonal directions simultaneously by using a simple pendulum, two mirrors, a 2D position-sensing detector (PSD), and a laser diode. The light ray from the laser is projected onto a mirror that is fixed to a pendulum whose relative angle modifies in response to inclination changes of the inclinometer's housing. The light ray reflected by the mirror is sensed by the PSD, after which the signal can be interpreted by a PSD signal processor, recorded, or output to a computer. This study uses skew-ray tracing methodology to obtain implicit nonlinear system equations to model the relations of the relative inclination angles of the various components, PSD position, and world frame. A first-order Taylor series expansion is used to obtain a linear form of the system equations. To validate the proposed methodology, an actual prototype system is built and experimental results show that the performance of this system is excellent.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(080.2730) Geometric optics : Matrix methods in paraxial optics
(080.2740) Geometric optics : Geometric optical design
(120.4570) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical design of instruments
(120.4640) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Optical instruments

Original Manuscript: September 27, 2005
Revised Manuscript: March 21, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: April 4, 2006

Chun-Jen Chen and Psang Dain Lin, "Design and analysis of an optoelectronic inclinometer for simultaneous measurement of inclinations along two orthogonal directions," Appl. Opt. 45, 6487-6496 (2006)

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