Absolute distance measurements can be performed with an interferometric method that uses only a single tunable laser. This method has one major drawback, because a small target movement of the order of one wavelength during a measurement will be interpreted as a movement of one synthetic wavelength. This effect is usually mitigated by adding a second (nonscanning) laser. We show that absolute distance measurements can be performed with only one laser if the movements encountered are smooth, on the time scale of one measurement. In this case the movement errors can be compensated with a simple algorithm that combines several subsequent measurements. First experimental results show good agreement with theory.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(120.5050) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Phase measurement
(140.3600) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, tunable
(280.3400) Remote sensing and sensors : Laser range finder
B. L. Swinkels, N. Bhattacharya, and J. J. M. Braat, "Correcting movement errors in frequency-sweeping interferometry," Opt. Lett. 30, 2242-2244 (2005)