Theoretical Analysis and Application of Absolute Distance Measurements Based on Electro-Optic Modulation and Optical Frequency Comb

ZHAO Yuhang1 QU Xinghua1 ZHANG Fumin1 ZHAO Xianyu1 TANG Guoqing1

(1.State Key Laboratory of Precision Measurement Technology and Instruments, Tianjin University, Tianjin, China 300072)

【Abstract】To meet the requirements of high-precision, long-distance, and highly dynamic measurements, this article proposes a scheme for absolute distance measurement based on optical frequency combs. Cascaded phase modulators and intensity modulators are used to electro-optically generate a flat-top optical frequency comb. The system offers advantages, including direct traceability, cost efficiency, and reproducibility. Furthermore, a mathematical model is formulated and used to assess the quality of the optical frequency comb generated for use in a multi-heterodyne ranging system. The system is simpler than traditional multi-wavelength measurement systems, and realizes absolute distance measurements by extracting phase information from the synthesized wavelengths of the optical comb. The mathematical model presented herein is used to analyze the noise and uncertainty involved in the system.

【Keywords】 measurement; laser testing; optical metrology; photoelectric ranging;


【Funds】 National Natural Science Foundation of China (51675380) Open Fund of the Key Laboratory of Micro Optical Electro Mechanical System Technology of the Ministry of Education (MOMST 2016-01)

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(Translated by CAI ZJ)


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This Article


CN: 31-1339/TN

Vol 45, No. 12, Pages 160-167

December 2018


Article Outline



  • 1 Introduction
  • 2 Generation principle of electro-optically modulated OFC
  • 3 Principle of triple-comb ranging system
  • 4 Experiment and analysis
  • 5 Conclusions
  • References