Abstract

A compact self-aligning laser radar has been constructed for coherent ranging and velocimetry using a laser diode modulated by feedback from light scattered from a diffusing target. The phenomenology of beat-signal generation in the device is discussed from both experimental and theoretical points of view. The ac-coupled modulation waveform is asymmetric (similar to a sawtooth) and different for the two propagation directions of the light leaving the diode. A theoretical model, based on the mode structure of a three-mirror Fabry-Perot cavity, describes signal generation in these experiments and accounts for the asymmetric waveform.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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