High-accuracy long distance measurements with a mode-filtered frequency comb

Adam Lešundák, Dirk Voigt, Ondrej Cip, Steven Van Den Berg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
10 Downloads (Pure)


Homodyne interferometry with a frequency comb as multi-wavelength source is a powerful method to measure long distances with high accuracy. The measurement principle requires that individual comb modes are spectrally resolved, making hundreds or thousands of accurately known wavelengths available for interferometry. For this reason the method cannot be applied directly to frequency combs with a low repetition rate (e.g. 100 MHz), since the modes are too close to be resolved. In this paper we use cavity mode filtering to increasing the pulse repetition rate of a comb and we apply the filtered comb for mode-resolved absolute distance measurement. Mode-filtering takes place with a single Fabry-Pérot cavity in a Vernier configuration, allowing to set mode spacings ranging from 10s of GHz to more than 100 GHz. Large mode-spacings significantly reduce the requirements on the resolution of the spectrometer. We demonstrate absolute long distance measurement with a mode-filtered frequency comb using a simple array spectrometer for mode-resolved detection. Here a 1 GHz comb is used, that is converted into a 56 GHz comb by mode-filtering. A trade-o between non-ambiguity range and spectral resolution needs to be made when choosing a filter ratio. The pulse-to-pulse distance after filtering is 5.3 mm in this case, so to overcome ambiguity a rough measurement with an accuracy of about 2.5 mm is required. We show that in comparison to a conventional counting interferometer an agreement within 0.5 µm for distances up to 50 m is found. The presented method may enable the field application of low-repetition rate frequency comb lasers, like fiber lasers, for multi-wavelength homodyne interferometry. It relaxes the requirements on the spectral resolution, allowing for simple grating spectrometers as detector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32570-32580
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 25 Dec 2017

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'High-accuracy long distance measurements with a mode-filtered frequency comb'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this