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Precision Metrology Using Ultrashort Pulse Laser and Optical Frequency Comb

A special issue of Sensors (ISSN 1424-8220). This special issue belongs to the section "Optical Sensors".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 25 June 2024 | Viewed by 10782

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Precision Nanometrology Laboratory, Department of Finemechanics, Tohoku University, Sendai 980-8579, Japan
Interests: optical sensors; precision nanometrology; precision engineering

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Guest Editor
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST), 291 Daehak-ro, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34141, Republic of Korea
Interests: precision engineering; optical metrology; optical frequency comb
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
State Key Laboratory of Precision Measurement Technology and Instruments, Department of Precision Instrument, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Interests: optical nanometrology; optical frequency comb; Lidar
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

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Guest Editor
Institute Process Measurement and Sensor Technology, Department Mechanical Engineering, Technische Universität Ilmenau, D-98693 Ilmenau, Germany
Interests: nanopositioning and nanomeasuring machines; precision nanometrology; precision engineering

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Ultrashort pulse lasers with pulse widths in the order of pico-, femto-, and even atto-arcseconds are playing important roles in many areas of measurement science and technology. The creation of the optical frequency comb based on ultrashort pulses led to a revolutionary simplification and improvement in optical frequency metrology at the end of the last centrury. The use of the ultrshort pulse laser and optical frequency comb is also leading to innovations in precision metrology for the dimensional and geometrical measurement of precision parts as well as the motion measurement of machines and robots.

This Special Issue aims to address to all types of sensors, measuring instruments, and measurement technologies based on the ultrashort pulse laser and optical frequency comb for precision measurement, including but not limited to:

  • The measurement of length, thickness, distance, and strain, angle;
  • The measurement of linear/angular displacement, velocity, and acceleration;
  • The measurement of surface form and surface texture;
  • The measurement of the external and internal 2D/3D structures of biological and nonbiological materials;
  • The measurement of diffractive index and the mechanical properties of materials;
  • Microscopy using an ultrashort-pulse laser source and the optical frequency comb;
  • Optical frequency comb spectroscopy;
  • The development of a visible/infrared ultrashort pulse laser source;
  • The phase stabilization of the optical frequency comb;
  • Related measurement standards and traceability.

All the papers included in this special issue will be referenced and cited in a keynote paper of CIRP Annals - Manufacturing Technology to be published in 2025.

Prof. Dr. Wei Gao 
Prof. Dr. Seung-Woo Kim
Dr. Guanhao Wu
Prof. Dr. Eberhard Manske
Guest Editors

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Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

11 pages, 3026 KiB  
Article
Open-Air Testing of Dual-Comb Time-of-Flight Measurement
by Wooram Kim, Jaewon Yang, Jaeyoung Jang, Jeong Seok Oh, Seongheum Han, Seungman Kim, Heesuk Jang, Young-Jin Kim and Seung-Woo Kim
Sensors 2023, 23(21), 8949; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23218949 - 03 Nov 2023
Viewed by 561
Abstract
We configured a long-distance ranging apparatus to test the principle of dual-comb time-of-flight measurement using ultrashort lasers. Emphasis was given to the evaluation of open-air performance quantitatively in terms of the measurement resolution and stability. The test results revealed that our dual-comb asynchronous [...] Read more.
We configured a long-distance ranging apparatus to test the principle of dual-comb time-of-flight measurement using ultrashort lasers. Emphasis was given to the evaluation of open-air performance quantitatively in terms of the measurement resolution and stability. The test results revealed that our dual-comb asynchronous optical pulse sampling permits micrometer-resolved ranging with a repeatability of 2.05 μm over a 648 m distance in dry weather conditions. Further atmospheric effects were evaluated in three different weather conditions with corresponding Allan deviations. Finally, the capability of simultaneous determination of multiple targets was verified with the potential of advanced industrial applications, such as manufacturing, surveying, metrology, and geodesy. Full article
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11 pages, 2663 KiB  
Article
Phase-Locked Synthetic Wavelength Interferometer Using a Femtosecond Laser for Absolute Distance Measurement without Cyclic Error
by Hyeokin Kang, Joohyung Lee, Young-Jin Kim and Seung-Woo Kim
Sensors 2023, 23(14), 6253; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23146253 - 09 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1024
Abstract
We present a phase-locked synthetic wavelength interferometer that enables a complete elimination of cyclic errors in absolute distance measurements. With this method, the phase difference between the reference and measurement paths is fed back into a phase lock-in system, which is then used [...] Read more.
We present a phase-locked synthetic wavelength interferometer that enables a complete elimination of cyclic errors in absolute distance measurements. With this method, the phase difference between the reference and measurement paths is fed back into a phase lock-in system, which is then used to control the synthetic wavelength and set the phase difference to zero using an external cavity acousto-optic modulator. We validated the cyclic error removal of the proposed phase-locked method by comparing it with the conventional phase-measuring method of the synthetic wavelength interferometer. By analyzing the locked error signal, we achieved a precision of 0.6 mrad in phase without any observed cyclic errors. Full article
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24 pages, 3445 KiB  
Article
A GPS-Referenced Wavelength Standard for High-Precision Displacement Interferometry at λ = 633 nm
by Ulrike Blumröder, Paul Köchert, Thomas Fröhlich, Thomas Kissinger, Ingo Ortlepp, Jens Flügge, Harald Bosse and Eberhard Manske
Sensors 2023, 23(3), 1734; https://doi.org/10.3390/s23031734 - 03 Feb 2023
Viewed by 2083
Abstract
Since the turn of the millennium, the development and commercial availability of optical frequency combs has led to a steadily increase of worldwide installed frequency combs and a growing interest in using them for industrial-related metrology applications. Especially, GPS-referenced frequency combs often serve [...] Read more.
Since the turn of the millennium, the development and commercial availability of optical frequency combs has led to a steadily increase of worldwide installed frequency combs and a growing interest in using them for industrial-related metrology applications. Especially, GPS-referenced frequency combs often serve as a “self-calibrating” length standard for laser wavelength calibration in many national metrology institutes with uncertainties better than u = 1 × 10−11. In this contribution, the application of a He-Ne laser source permanently disciplined to a GPS-referenced frequency comb for the interferometric measurements in a nanopositioning machine with a measuring volume of 200 mm × 200 mm × 25 mm (NPMM-200) is discussed. For this purpose, the frequency stability of the GPS-referenced comb is characterized by heterodyning with a diode laser referenced to an ultrastable cavity. Based on this comparison, an uncertainty of u = 9.2 × 10−12 (τ = 8 s, k = 2) for the GPS-referenced comb has been obtained. By stabilizing a tunable He-Ne source to a single comb line, the long-term frequency stability of the comb is transferred onto our gas lasers increasing their long-term stability by three orders of magnitude. Second, short-term fluctuations-related length measurement errors were reduced to a value that falls below the nominal resolving capabilities of our interferometers (ΔL/L = 2.9 × 10−11). Both measures make the influence of frequency distortions on the interferometric length measurement within the NPMM-200 negligible. Furthermore, this approach establishes a permanent link of interferometric length measurements to an atomic clock. Full article
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14 pages, 1702 KiB  
Article
Weak-Light Phase-Locking Time Delay Interferometry with Optical Frequency Combs
by Mingyang Xu, Hanzhong Wu, Yurong Liang, Dan Luo, Panpan Wang, Yujie Tan and Chenggang Shao
Sensors 2022, 22(19), 7349; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22197349 - 28 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1328
Abstract
In the future space-borne gravitational wave (GW) detector, the optical transponder scheme, i.e., the phase-locking scheme, will be utilized so as to maintain the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In this case, the whole constellation will share one common laser equivalently, which enables the considerable [...] Read more.
In the future space-borne gravitational wave (GW) detector, the optical transponder scheme, i.e., the phase-locking scheme, will be utilized so as to maintain the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). In this case, the whole constellation will share one common laser equivalently, which enables the considerable simplification of time delay interferometry (TDI) combinations. Recently, and remarkably, the unique combination of TDI and optical frequency comb (OFC) has shown a bright prospect for the future space-borne missions. When the laser frequency noise and the clock noise are synchronized using OFC as the bridge, the data streams will be reasonably simplified. However, in the optical transponder scheme, the weak-light phase-locking (WLPL) loops could bring additional noises. In this work, we analyze the phase-locking scheme with OFC and transfer characteristics of the noises including the WLPL noise. We show that the WLPL noise can be efficiently reduced by using the specific TDI combination, and the cooperation of phase-locking and frequency combs can greatly simplify the post-processing. Full article
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13 pages, 780 KiB  
Article
Extending Non-Ambiguity Range of Dual-Comb Ranging for a Mobile Target Based on FPGA
by Ruoyu Liu, Haoyang Yu, Yue Wang, Yu Li, Xinda Liu, Pengpeng Zhang, Qian Zhou and Kai Ni
Sensors 2022, 22(18), 6830; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22186830 - 09 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1377
Abstract
Dual-comb ranging (DCR) is an important method in absolute distance ranging because of its high precision, fast acquisition rate, and large measuring range. DCR needs to obtain precise results during distance measurements for a mobile target. However, the non-ambiguity range (NAR) is a [...] Read more.
Dual-comb ranging (DCR) is an important method in absolute distance ranging because of its high precision, fast acquisition rate, and large measuring range. DCR needs to obtain precise results during distance measurements for a mobile target. However, the non-ambiguity range (NAR) is a challenge when pushing the dual-comb ranging to the industry field. This paper presents a solution for extending NAR by designing an algorithm and realizing it on a field-programmable gate array (FPGA). The algorithm is robust when facing the timing jitter in the optical frequency comb. Without averaging, the Allan deviation of the results in 1 ms is ∼3.89 μm and the Allan deviation of the results is ∼0.37 μm at an averaging time of 100 ms when the target object is standstill near the NAR. In addition, several ranging experiments were conducted on a mobile target whose speed was from ∼5 mm/s to ∼10 mm/s. The experimental results verify the effectiveness and robustness of our design. The implemented design is an online and real-time data processing unit that shows great industrial potential for using the DCR system. Full article
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12 pages, 2672 KiB  
Article
Impact of Laser Intensity Noise on Dual-Comb Absolute Ranging Precision
by Jiaqi Wang, Haosen Shi, Chunze Wang, Minglie Hu and Youjian Song
Sensors 2022, 22(15), 5770; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22155770 - 02 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1757
Abstract
Noise in mode-locked lasers has been a central issue for dual-comb metrological applications. In this work, we investigate the laser intensity noise on dual-comb absolute ranging precision. Two different dual-comb schemes based on linear optical sampling (LOS) and nonlinear asynchronous optical sampling (ASOPS) [...] Read more.
Noise in mode-locked lasers has been a central issue for dual-comb metrological applications. In this work, we investigate the laser intensity noise on dual-comb absolute ranging precision. Two different dual-comb schemes based on linear optical sampling (LOS) and nonlinear asynchronous optical sampling (ASOPS) have been constructed. In the LOS scheme, the ranging precision deteriorates with the increase in laser relative intensity noise (RIN). This effect can be corrected by implementing a balanced photo-detection (BPD). In the ASOPS scheme, the experiment shows that the conversion from laser RIN to dual-comb ranging precision is negligible, making a balanced detection unnecessary for ranging precision improvement. The different manners of RIN’s impact on absolute ranging precision are attributed to the distinct cross-correlation signal patterns and the underlying time-of-flight (TOF) extraction algorithms. Full article
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12 pages, 2575 KiB  
Article
Improvement of Distance Measurement Based on Dispersive Interferometry Using Femtosecond Optical Frequency Comb
by Qiong Niu, Mingyu Song, Jihui Zheng, Linhua Jia, Junchen Liu, Lingman Ni, Ju Nian, Xingrui Cheng, Fumin Zhang and Xinghua Qu
Sensors 2022, 22(14), 5403; https://doi.org/10.3390/s22145403 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1339
Abstract
Since the dispersive interferometry (DPI) based on optical frequency combs (OFCs) was proposed, it has been widely used in absolute distance measurements with long-distance and high precision. However, it has a serious problem for the traditional DPI based on the mode-locked OFC. The [...] Read more.
Since the dispersive interferometry (DPI) based on optical frequency combs (OFCs) was proposed, it has been widely used in absolute distance measurements with long-distance and high precision. However, it has a serious problem for the traditional DPI based on the mode-locked OFC. The error of measurements caused by using the fast Fourier transform (FFT) algorithm to process signals cannot be overcome, which is due to the non-uniform sampling intervals in the frequency domain of spectrometers. Therefore, in this paper, we propose a new mathematical model with a simple form of OFC to simulate and analyze various properties of the OFC and the principle of DPI. Moreover, we carry out an experimental verification, in which we adopt the Lomb–Scargle algorithm to improve the accuracy of measurements of DPI. The results show that the Lomb–Scargle algorithm can effectively reduce the error caused by the resolution, and the error of absolute distance measurement is less than 12 μm in the distance of 70 m based on the mode-locked OFC. Full article
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