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Optical Engineering

Possible Use of the Mach-Zehnder Heterodyne Interferometer As a Gyroscope
Author(s): M. J. Lavan; G. E Van Damme; W. K. Cadwallender
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Paper Abstract

The potential advantages of the Mach-Zehnder Heterodyne Interferometer as a rotation sensing device are discussed. Recently, a Mach-Zehnder Heterodyne Interferometer was described which allowed the direct reading of changes in the relative phase between the two beams. This was achieved by the use of a phase comparator that develops a voltage which is linear with increasing relative phase. The purpose of this note is to point out the potential advantages that such a device could have as a rotation sensor. Of course, the capability of a passive interferometer to sense rotations has been known since Sagnac's work. More recently, interest has centered on the ring laser gyro as an active interferometer. Both devices have disadvantages that limit their usefulness. The Sagnac Interferometer reflects rotational motion by a fringe shift which is proportional to the rate of rotation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1977
PDF: 2 pages
Opt. Eng. 16(3) 163313 doi: 10.1117/12.7972150
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 16, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
M. J. Lavan, Gen. Thomas J. Rodman Laboratory (United States)
G. E Van Damme, Gen. Thomas J. Rodman Laboratory (United States)
W. K. Cadwallender, Gen. Thomas J. Rodman Laboratory (United States)

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