In two preceding works (Appl. Opt. 47, 2201–2206, 2008; Appl. Opt. 48, 414–424, 2009) we introduced the design of an optical encoder based on a nondiffractive beam and studied the dependence of its performance on its parameters (e.g., grating pitch, photodetector size). In those works we proposed different optimization criteria and concluded that the proposed design provides an output sinusoidal signal with high contrast and very low harmonic distortion, while having remarkable tolerance to variations in its parameters and to mechanical perturbations. In this work we (1) study how to improve the system performance by means of selecting appropriate photodetector geometry, (2) study the system performance for different nondiffractive beam geometries, and (3) quantify the output signal tolerance to vertical and lateral misalignment between the centers of the nondiffractive beam and the photodetector. As a consequence, we obtain new sets of optimal parameters that significantly improve the system performance and enhance its tolerance to mechanical perturbations and fabrication errors.
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