We demonstrate and analyze a novel fiber optic confocal laser Doppler velocimeter using an ultra-narrow linewidth all-fiber laser source centered at around 1550 nm (eye-safe region). The narrow spectral linewidth of the fiber laser (<10 kHz) is used to achieve an extremely high velocity resolution (~0.0075 m/s), which is an order of magnitude better as compared to the commonly used semiconductor diode lasers or He-Ne lasers based systems. The directional optical circulator based design used in our system is much simpler to implement and is power conserving compared to the conventional Michelson interferometer based designs. We perform Gaussian beam propagation analysis by using the ABCD law to study the performance of the confocal design. The analysis is in good accord with our experimental results. The confocal design is capable of providing ultrahigh spatial resolution (~5μm, in both lateral and longitudinal directions) for high-precision velocity distribution measurement applications.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
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