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# Laser Interferometry

Brief Description of components: (i) Two frequency Laser source (ii) Optical elements (iii) Laser head’s measurement receiver (iv) Measurement display (v) Various version of ACLI

LASER INTERFEROMETRY

Brief Description of components

(i) Two frequency Laser source

It is generally He-Ne type that generates stable coherent light beam of two frequencies, one polarized vertically and another horizontally relative to the plane of the mounting feet. Laser oscillates at two slightly different frequencies by a cylindrical permanent magnet around the cavity. The two components of frequencies are distinguishable by their opposite circular polarization. Beam containing both frequencies passes through a quarter wave and half wave plates which change the circular polarizations to linear perpendicular polarizations, one vertical and other horizontal. Thus the laser can be rotated by 90°about the beam axis without affecting transducer performance. If the laser source is deviated from one of the four optimum positions, the photo receiver will decrease. At 45° deviation the signal will decrease to zero.

(ii) Optical elements

a) Beam splitter

Sketch shows the beam splitters to divide laser output along different axes. These divide the laser beam into separate beams. To avoid attenuation it is essential that the beam splitters must be oriented so that the reflected beam forms a right angle with the transmitted beam. So that these two beams: are coplanar with one of the polarisation vectors of the input form.

Fig 4.6 Beam Splitter

b) Beam benders

These are used to deflect the light beam around corners on its path from the laser to each axis. These are actually just flat mirrors but having absolutely flat and very high reflectivity. Normally these are restricted to 90° beam deflections to avoid disturbing the polarizing vectors.

c) Retro reflectors

These can be plane mirrors, roof prism or cube corners. Cube corners are three mutually perpendicular plane mirrors and the reflected beam is always parallel to the incidental beam. Each ACLI transducers need two retro reflectors. All ACLI measurements are made by sensing differential motion between two retro reflectors relative to an interferometer. Plane mirror used as retro reflectors with the plane mirror interferometer must be flat to within 0.06 micron per cm.

During a measurement the laser beam is directed through optics in the measurement path and then returned to the laser head is measurement receiver which will detect part of the returning beam and a doppler shifted frequency component.

(iv)                       Measurement display

It contains a microcomputer to compute and display results. The signals from receiver and measurement receiver located in the laser head are counted in two separate pulse converter and subtracted. Calculations are made and the computed value is displayed. Other input signals for correction are temperature, co-efficient of expansion, air velocity etc., which can be displayed.

(v) Various version of ACLI

a) Standard Interferometer

·       Least expensive.

·       Retro reflector for this instrument is a cube corner.

·       Displacement is measured between the interferometer and cube corner.

Fig 4.7 Standard Interferometer

b) Signal beams Interferometer

·       Beam traveling between the interferometer and the retro reflector.

·       Its operation same as standard interferometer.

·       The interferometer and retro reflector for this system are smaller than the standard system.

·       Long range optical path

·       Wear and tear.

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Mechanical : Metrology and Measurements : Laser Metrology : Laser Interferometry |