We demonstrate two different approaches for improvement of acousto-optic beam deflection sensing in air. These are for the purely refractive regime where the beam width is smaller than the acoustic wavelength. Neither of the approaches requires increasing amplitude or frequency of the acoustic waves. Measured results show up to 8 fold increase in detected signal by using an increased beam width in an off-center geometry. The results can be applied to improve numerous applications that depend on beam deflection probing in air.

© 2012 Optical Society of America

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