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Opt Express. 2009 May 25;17(11):9300-13.

Femtosecond frequency comb based distance measurement in air.

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Czech Metrology Institute, Laboratories of Fundamental Metrology, V Botanice 4, 150 72 Prague, Czech Republic.


Interferometric measurement of distance using a femtosecond frequency comb is demonstrated and compared with a counting interferometer displacement measurement. A numerical model of pulse propagation in air is developed and the results are compared with experimental data for short distances. The relative agreement for distance measurement in known laboratory conditions is better than 10(-7). According to the model, similar precision seems feasible even for long-distance measurement in air if conditions are sufficiently known. It is demonstrated that the relative width of the interferogram envelope even decreases with the measured length, and a fringe contrast higher than 90% could be obtained for kilometer distances in air, if optimal spectral width for that length and wavelength is used. The possibility of comb radiation delivery to the interferometer by an optical fiber is shown by model and experiment, which is important from a practical point of view.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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