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Appl Opt. 2011 Oct 1;50(28):5484-98. doi: 10.1364/AO.50.005484.

Method of excess fractions with application to absolute distance metrology: theoretical analysis.

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School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds, UK.


The method of excess fractions (EF) is well established to resolve the fringe order ambiguity generated in interferometric detection. Despite this background, multiwavelength interferometric absolute long distance measurements have only been reported with varying degrees of success. In this paper we present a theoretical model that can predict the unambiguous measurement range in EF based on the selected measurement wavelengths and phase noise. It is shown that beat wavelength solutions are a subset of this theoretical model. The performance of EF, for a given phase noise, is shown to be equivalent to beat techniques but offers many alternative sets of measurement wavelengths and therefore EF offer significantly greater flexibility in experimental design.

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