New optical arrangements with two single-mode input fibers and a fiber-optic coupler are devised to measure the instantaneous velocity difference and the local velocity. The fibers and the coupler are polarization-preserving to guarantee a high signal-to-noise ratio. When the two input fibers are used to collect the scattered light with the same momentum-transfer vector but from two spatially separated regions in a flow, the obtained signals interfere when combined via the fiber-optic coupler. The resultant light received by a photomultiplier tube contains a cross-beat frequency proportional to the velocity difference between the two measuring points. If the two input fibers are used to collect the scattered light from a common scattering region but with two different momentum-transfer vectors, then the resultant light contains a self-beat frequency proportional to the local velocity at the measuring point. The experiment shows that both the cross-beat and the self-beat signals are large and that the standard laser Doppler signal processor can be used to measure the velocity difference and the local velocity in real time. The new technique will have various applications in the general area of fluid dynamics.
© 2001 Optical Society of America
(030.7060) Coherence and statistical optics : Turbulence
(060.1810) Fiber optics and optical communications : Buffers, couplers, routers, switches, and multiplexers
(060.2420) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fibers, polarization-maintaining
(120.7250) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Velocimetry
Sheng-Hong Yao, Viktor K. Horváth, Penger Tong, Bruce J. Ackerson, and Walter I. Goldburg, "Measurements of the instantaneous velocity difference and the local velocity with a fiber-optic coupler," J. Opt. Soc. Am. A 18, 696-703 (2001)