Optical Distance Measurement at Record-High Speed

Microresonator-based optical frequency combs enable highly-precise optical distance ranging at a rate of 100 million measurements per second – publication in Science.
Demonstrationsaufbau einer ultraschnellen Distanzmessung (Foto: Laila Tkotz, KIT)
Setup to demonstrate ultrarapid distance measurement: The barrel of a rifle is firmly clamped and the laser beam that is invisible in the experiment is directed towards the trajectory of the projectiles fired. (Photo: Laila Tkotz, KIT)

Scientists of Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) have demonstrated the fastest distance measurement so far. The researchers demonstrated on-the-fly sampling of a gun bullet profile with micrometer accuracy. The experiment relied on a soliton frequency comb generated in a chip-based optical microresonator made from silicon nitride. Potential applications comprise real-time 3D cameras based on highly precise and compact LIDAR systems.

Full text: Press Release 019/2018

Publication: DOI: 10.1126/science.aao3924

mhe, 23.02.2018