We present a concept for chromatic confocal distance sensing that employs two levels of spectral multiplexing for the parallelized evaluation of multiple lateral measurement points; at the first level, the chromatic confocal principle is used to encode distance information within the spectral distribution of the sensor signal. For lateral multiplexing, the total spectral bandwidth of the sensor is split into bands. Each band is assigned to a different lateral measurement point by a segmented diffractive element. Based on this concept, we experimentally demonstrate a chromatic confocal three-point sensor that is suitable for harsh production environments, since it works with a single-point spectrometer and does not require scanning functionality. The experimental system has a working distance of more than 50 mm, a measurement range of 9 mm, and an axial resolution of 50 μm.
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