Abstract

We demonstrate a scheme for long-range, high-precision absolute distance measurement based on frequency detection using two optoelectronic oscillators to convert distance information to frequency information. The two-oscillator design offers the unique advantage of self-referencing. By taking advantage of the accumulative magnification theory, the error of the measured distance is decreased by approximately 105 fold, which significantly improves the precision of the measured distance. In our experiments, the maximum error is ±1.5μm at an emulated distance of approximately 3.35 km, including a drift error of approximately 1 μm in the air path due to the variation of environmental conditions. The highest relative measurement precision achieved in our current system is 4.5×1010.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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