We present a low-cost optical design for the detection of speckle translation, which can provide measures of in-plane translation or the rotation of a solid structure. A nonspecular target surface is illuminated with coherent light. The scattered light is propagated through an optical arrangement that has been particularly designed for the type of mechanical measurand for which the sensor is intended. The dynamics of the speckle field that arise from the target surface are projected onto a lenticular array, constituting a narrow spatial bandpass filter for the speckle spectrum. The filter provides access to the full phase information of the temporal quasi-sinusoidal intensity output; thus differential arrangements of photodetectors can provide suppression of low-frequency oscillations and higher harmonics, and the direction of the speckle translation can be determined. The spatial filter of the sensor is characterized, and the precision of the sensor when it is integrated with an electronic zero-crossing-detection processor is investigated. The best measurement accuracy obtained at constant velocity is 1% at 1.6-mm translation; the relative standard deviation decreases with the square root of the distance traveled.
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