Nondiffracting beams are useful for alignment applications because the size of the beam does not change as the beam propagates. In this research we report a technique that allows for distance measurements with nondiffracting beams. With our approach a diffractive optical element is designed that generates two off-axis, tilted, nondiffracting Bessel function beams. These beams intersect at a desired distance from the input plane, producing interference. We generate these Bessel function arrays with a programmable spatial light modulator allowing external control over the intersection distance.
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