Abstract

An extensive study for the optical beat noise in low-coherence two-beam interferometry under uniform spectrum illumination is presented. A new formula for the beat noise is derived. The analytical formulas for the signal-to-noise ratio and the resolution in the detection of small phase change and absolute optical path length are given. The effects of the beat noise on the achievable sensing performances in real sensing systems are numerically evaluated and discussed. The sensing performances are improved by use of a wider optical bandwidth of the illuminating light.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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