Abstract

We discuss the application of digital systems to the automatic control of dual-wave optical interferometers. We show that, if the mechanical-modulation technique is used for error-signal extraction, digital techniques can be used both for error-signal extraction and for control-signal generation. Therefore, apart from two front/end amplifiers that are necessary to match the dynamics of the detectors and actuators to the dynamics of the analog-to-digital converters and digital-to-analog converters, no other analog devices are required. In particular, the mechanical-modulation technique requires the synchronous demodulation of the photodiode output signal. Hence we need to implement a digital lock-in amplifier whose algorithm is described here. Finally, we describe one of the possible applications of this digital control procedure, such as the control of a classic Mach–Zehnder interferometer in air.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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