Full path compensation laser feedback interferometry for remote sensing with recovered nanometer resolutions
The accuracy of the existing laser feedback interferometry for measuring the remote target is limited to several microns due to environmental disturbances. A novel approach is presented in this paper based on the double-beam frequency-shift feedback of the laser, which can completely eliminate the dead path errors and measure the displacement or vibration with accuracy at nanometer scale even at a far measurement distance. The two beams emitted from one Nd:YVO4 crystal are incident on the measurement target and its adjacent reference surface, respectively. The reference surface could be taken from the nearby stationary object, without the need to put a reference mirror. The feedback paths and shift frequencies of the two beams are the same, so the air disturbances and the thermal effects in the way could be fully compensated. Under common room conditions, the displacement of a steel block at a distance of 10 m is measured, which proved that the system’s stability is ±12 nm in 100 s and ±50 nm in 1000 s, the short-term resolution is better than 3 nm, and the linearity within the 300 mm range is 5 × 10−6 and within the 100 μm range is 1 × 10−4.