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Proceedings Paper

MSTAR: an absolute metrology system with submicrometer accuracy
Author(s): Oliver P. Lay; Serge Dubovitsky; Robert D. Peters; Johan Burger; Willian H. Steier; Seh-Won Ahn; Harrold R. Fetterman
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Paper Abstract

Laser metrology systems are a key component of stellar interferometers, used to monitor path lengths and dimensions internal to the instrument. Most interferometers use 'relative' metrology, in which the integer number of wavelengths along the path is unknown, and the measurement of length is ambiguous. Changes in the path length can be measured relative to an initial calibration point, but interruption of the metrology beam at any time requires a re-calibration of the system. The MSTAR sensor (Modulation Sideband Technology for Absolute Ranging) is a new system for measuring absolute distance, capable of resolving the integer cycle ambiguity of standard interferometers, and making it possible to measure distance with sub-nanometer accuracy. We describe the design of the system, show results for target distances up to 1 meter, and demonstrate how the system can be scaled to kilometer-scale distances. In recent experiments, we have used white light interferometry to augment the 'truth' measurements and validate the zero-point of the system. MSTAR is a general-purpose tool for conveniently measuring length with much greater accuracy than was previously possible, and has a wide range of possible applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 20 October 2004
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 5491, New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry, (20 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.552166
Show Author Affiliations
Oliver P. Lay, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Serge Dubovitsky, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Robert D. Peters, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Johan Burger, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Willian H. Steier, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Seh-Won Ahn, Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Harrold R. Fetterman, Pacific Wave Industries, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5491:
New Frontiers in Stellar Interferometry
Wesley A. Traub, Editor(s)

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