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Appl Opt. 1996 May 1;35(13):2159-61. doi: 10.1364/AO.35.002159.

Range-finding by triangulation with nondiffracting beams.


Nondiffracting beams are useful for alignment applications because the size of the beam does not change as the beam propagates. In this research we report a technique that allows for distance measurements with nondiffracting beams. With our approach a diffractive optical element is designed that generates two off-axis, tilted, nondiffracting Bessel function beams. These beams intersect at a desired distance from the input plane, producing interference. We generate these Bessel function arrays with a programmable spatial light modulator allowing external control over the intersection distance.

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