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Optical Engineering

Progress In Absolute Distance Interferometry
Author(s): C. W. Gillard; N. E. Buholz
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Paper Abstract

This paper describes the results of recent research undertaken to examine the feasibility of employing laser interferometry to precisely measure absolute distance over extended ranges. Data are presented that show a resolution of 0.03 um (rms) for measurements over distances up to 10 meters. The technology developed for achieving these results is based on two-color, synthetic Michelson interferometry employing a new CO2 laser source. Indeed, the new laser is the key element in this process: it was specifically designed to sequentially switch between four sets of stable R- and P-line pairs and thereby provide a basis for forming simultaneous equations which were employed to greatly reduce the half-wavelength ambiguity typical of single wavelength interferometers. Potential applications to future optical telescopes--particularly the large, multipanel telescopes under consideration for 10-15 years hence--their initial alignment and control, are suggested.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 June 1983
PDF: 6 pages
Opt. Eng. 22(3) 223348 doi: 10.1117/12.7973117
Published in: Optical Engineering Volume 22, Issue 3
Show Author Affiliations
C. W. Gillard, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (United States)
N. E. Buholz, Lockheed Missiles and Space Company (United States)


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