Abstract

The development of a CO2 laser, tunable over six rotational lines, and its use in a heterodyne interferometer for absolute distance measurements are described. Measurements were made using a variety of difference frequencies enabling distances up to 25 m to be measured to an accuracy limited by refractive-index uncertainties. An evaluation of the device using comparative measurements against a commercial laser interferometer over a common path gave an ultimate accuracy of ±5 μm.

© 1987 Optical Society of America

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