Abstract

An angle-measuring technique based on an optical interferometer is reported. The technique exploits a Michelson interferometric configuration in which a right-angle prism and a glass strip are introduced into a probe beam. Simultaneous rotation of both components along an axis results in an optical path difference between the reference and the probe beams. In a second arrangement two right-angle prisms and glass strips are introduced into two beams of a Michelson interferometer. The prisms and the strips are rotated simultaneously to introduce an optical path difference between the two beams. In our arrangement, optimization of various parameters makes the net optical path difference between the two beams approximately linear for a rotation as great as ±20°. Results are simulated that show an improvement of 2–3 orders of magnitude in error and nonlinearity compared with a previously reported technique.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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