Noncontact profiling of machined metal surfaces by fiber optic interferometry

Duncan P. Hand, Tom Carolan, James S. Barton, Julian D. Jones

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Citation (Scopus)


A rugged interferometric fiber optic instrument for non-contact profiling of optically rough, machined metal surfaces has been developed, designed for use on the machine tool. The sensor is a robust and compact interferometric probe which scans focused light across the test surface. A laser diode source and photodetector communicate with the sensor through an optical fiber, and the output is demodulated with a phase-stepping algorithm, achieved by frequency modulating the source. Operation is demonstrated with face-milled steel surfaces, with steep local gradients and local variations in reflectivity of a factor of 100,000. The measured horizontal resolution is 1.5 µm, and the noise-limited vertical resolution 0.3 nm/vHz. Two additional manufacturing applications are demonstrated: in-situ profiling of diamond-machined surfaces and score dies.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1994
EventOptical Measurements and Sensors for the Process Industries - Frankfurt, Ger
Duration: 19 Jun 199419 Jun 1994


ConferenceOptical Measurements and Sensors for the Process Industries
CityFrankfurt, Ger


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