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Opt Lett. 2004 May 15;29(10):1153-5.

Absolute measurement of a long, arbitrary distance to less than an optical fringe.

Author information

  • JILA, National Institute of Standards and Technology, and University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado 80309-0440, USA. ye@jila.colorado.edu


A scheme is proposed for high-precision, absolute length measurement for an arbitrary optical distance of a few meters to beyond 10(6) m. The approach utilizes a phase-stabilized femtosecond laser to provide both incoherent, time-of-flight information and coherent, fringe-resolved interferometry. Such a combined measurement capability allows an optical wavelength resolution to be achieved for absolute length measurement over a large dynamic range.

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