We describe a new method for angle measurement based on the
internal-reflection effect and heterodyne interferometry. A novel
prism assembly is designed that can always parallel retroreflect the
incoming light beams so the optical configuration is compact. As a
differential common-path optical configuration is integrated into the
design, the linearity of the method is greatly improved. Details of
theoretical analysis of the method and experimental verification of the
principle are presented. The resolution can be better than 0.3 arc
sec. The experimental results and further improvements of the
proposed method are also addressed.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
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