A dual in-plane electronic speckle pattern interferometry (ESPI) system has been developed for in situ measurements. The optical setup is described here. The system uses an electro-optical switch to change between the illumination directions for x and y sensitivity. The ability of the electro-optic device to change the polarization of the laser light forms the basis of this switch. The electro-optic device is a liquid-crystal layer cemented between two optically flat glass plates. An electric field can be set up across the layer by application of a voltage to electrodes. The speckle interferometry system incorporates two additional liquid-crystal devices to facilitate phase shifting, and the overall system is controlled by advanced software, which allows switching between the two perpendicular planes in quasi real time. The fact that there are no moving parts is an advantage in any ESPI system for which mechanical stability is vital.
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