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ISSN: 1023-5086


ISSN: 1023-5086

Scientific and technical

Opticheskii Zhurnal

A full-text English translation of the journal is published by Optica Publishing Group under the title “Journal of Optical Technology”

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DOI: 10.17586/1023-5086-2023-90-06-25-37

УДК: 681.787

Absolute rangefinder based on femtosecond laser with the possibility of traceability to the standard of time and frequency

For Russian citation (Opticheskii Zhurnal):

Соколов Д.А., Козаченков С.А. Абсолютный дальномер на основе фемтосекундного лазера с возможностью прослеживаемости к эталону времени и частоты // Оптический журнал. 2023. Т. 90. № 6. С. 25–37.


D.A. Sokolov, S.A. Kozachenkov. Absolute rangefinder based on femtosecond laser with the possibility of traceability to the standard of time and frequency [In Russian] // Opticheskii Zhurnal. 2023. V. 90. № 6. P. 25–37.

For citation (Journal of Optical Technology):

Denis Sokolov and Sergey Kozachenkov, "Femtosecond laser-based absolute rangefinder with the possibility of traceability to the time and frequency standard," Journal of Optical Technology. 90(6), 302-309 (2023)


Subject of the study. Development and study of the metrological characteristics of an absolute rangefinder based on femtosecond laser designed to calibrate high­precision laser rangefinders on a 60­meter laboratory comparator and in the field in the range from 2.5 m to 500 m. Purpose of the work. Improving the accuracy of a unit of length reproduction in the range from 2.5 m to 500 m to ensure the uniformity of measurements during the determination of metrological characteristics of optoelectronic length measuring instruments. The method consists in using of a femtosecond laser as a highly stable coherent radiation source in an unbalanced Michelson interferometer. The pulse repetition frequency of the laser used is stabilized by a phase­locked system based on the rubidium frequency standard, thus providing for metrological traceability to the standard of time and frequency. At the same time, the interference of laser pulses makes it possible to reproduce the unit of length — a meter in accordance with the international definition of the meter. Main results. The actual problem of determining the metrological characteristics of optoelectronic length measuring instruments in the considered range of length measurement has been solved using innovative solutions and methods. The basic principles of operation and the block diagram of the absolute rangefinder based on femtosecond laser are presented. The traceability of the absolute rangefinder based on femtosecond laser to the standard of time and frequency is provided by the phase locked loop system. The results of the absolute rangefinder based on femtosecond laser tests are presented: the error in terms of standard deviation is 13 µm, when reproducing the unit of length up to 311 m in laboratory conditions, and 10 µm at a length of 572 m in field conditions. The power reserve for the received signal and the signal­to­noise ratio of at least 15 make it possible to increase the reproduction range of the unit length. The predicted components of the non­excluded systematic error are presented. The results of the absolute rangefinder based on femtosecond laser tests correspond to the stated goal of the study, namely to increase the accuracy of reproduction of the unit of length in the range from 2.5 m to 500 m. Practical significance. The results of the study will allow to solve the problems of scientific and applied nature in the interests of improving the reference base in the predicted area of measuring lengths up to 1000 m.


Acknowledgment: the authors express their gratitude for the invaluable contribution to the development and manufacture of the device under study to the staff of the laboratory for the development of standards of length in the range up to 60 m, namely V.N. Buzykin, A.N. Funde, V.E. Shcherbakov, and the staff of the mechanical assembly department.


femtosecond laser, pulse correlation, interferometer, laser absolute rangefinder, length measurement

OCIS codes: 000.2190, 120.3940, 120.3930, 120.3180, 140.3460, 140.7090


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