Abstract

We present a lidar concept for wind-speed measurements, in which a pulsed laser is used as the source for measurement and reference beams. A fraction of the transmitted pulse is stored in a fiber-optic ring resonator with a path length longer than the pulse. The output of the resonator is a pulse train that is used as the reference beam and can be mixed with the Doppler-shifted measurement signal. Because this reference has traveled a distance equivalent to the measurement beam's path length, low-coherence sources can be used. Inserting an erbium-doped fiber amplifier into the resonator ensures that the stored pulses do not decay in amplitude. Experiments prove that 16 reference pulses of sufficiently constant amplitude and stability can be generated. This would correspond to a measurement range of 240  m in free air over which the returned signal is sampled at equal intervals. Velocity measurements of a hard target have been carried out in the range of 110  m∕s. The Doppler-measured velocities agree with tachometer reference measurements within ±0.09  m∕s.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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