Abstract

We report a method for passive optical directional discrimination in laser-Doppler anemometers. For this purpose frequency-shift elements such as acousto-optic modulators, which are bulky and difficult to align during assembly, have traditionally been employed. We propose to use a quadrature homodyne technique to achieve directional discrimination of the fluid flow without any frequency-shift elements. It is based on the employment of two laser wavelengths, which generate two interference fringe systems with a phase shift of a quarter of the common fringe spacing. Measurement signal pairs with a direction-dependent phase shift of ±π/2 are generated. As a robust signal-processing technique, the cross-correlation technique is used. The principles of quadrature homodyne laser-Doppler anemometry are investigated. A setup that provides a constant phase shift of π/2 throughout the entire measurement volume was achieved with both single-mode and multimode radiation. The directional discrimination was successfully verified with wind tunnel measurements. The complete passive technique offers the potential of building miniaturized measurement heads that can be integrated, e.g., into wind tunnel models.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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