Abstract

The minimum achievable systematic uncertainty of interferometric measurements is fundamentally limited due to speckle noise. Numerical and physical experiments, regarding the achievable measurement uncertainty of Mach–Zehnder based velocity and position sensors, are presented at the example of the laser Doppler distance sensor with phase evaluation. The results show that the measurement uncertainty depends on the number of speckles on the photo detectors. However, while the systematic uncertainty due to the speckle effect decreases, the random uncertainty due to noise from the photo detector increases with increasing speckle number. This results in a minimal total measurement uncertainty for an optimal speckle number on the photo detector, which is achieved by adjusting the aperture of the detection optics.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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