Vibration observation is a major application of digital speckle-pattern interferometry (DSPI), which is a variation on electronic speckle-pattern interferometry (ESPI). DSPI processes speckle patterns in a computer rather than with a frame grabber and analog electronics as in ESPI. A new method of observing vibration fringes is presented and compared with existing techniques as well as some variations on them. Fringe contrast and signal-to-noise ratio are used as a means of comparison since these quantities are dependent on the techniques used. This new technique involves continuously subtracting a reference frame containing only self-interference terms and no cross interference term from the time-averaged data frames of the vibrating object. This reference frame is created by vibrating a reference mirror at a high amplitude while the object is at rest. Comparisons of calculated fringe contrast with four other observation methods show that this method yields extremely good fringe contrast. Experimental results are shown for this new technique as well as for the most commonly used vibration-observation technique. These results show that the new technique is far superior to all the other methods for moderately unstable objects, which may slowly drift or deform in time.
© 1985 Optical Society of America
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