Abstract

A high-speed high-resolution heterodyne interferometer using a laser with low beat frequency is developed. The interferometer has two spatially separated parallel beams with different frequencies. Two interference signals with opposite Doppler shift are optically generated by the interferometric optics. The measurement electronics uses two identical phasemeters for the two opposite interference signals. The two interference signals are selectively used according to the speed of the target, which makes sure that the Doppler shift of the selected signal is always positive, so that the measurable speed is no longer limited by the beat frequency of the laser source. Experimental results show that the measurement resolution is 0.62 nm. The measurable speed can exceed the restriction determined by the beat frequency. Compared with a commercial interferometer, the displacement difference is less than 40 nm in a travel range of 900 mm.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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