Abstract

Laser ultrasound is a technique used for the ultrasonic inspection of composites during manufacturing of advanced jet fighters. With this technique laser interferometry is used to detect ultrasonic displacements generated by a laser. In theory, the signal-to-noise ratio is proportional to the square root of the collected detection light. In practice, laser phase noise limits the signal-to-noise ratio above a certain collected light level. Two techniques are presented to decrease effects due to laser noise. In one technique the dual-cavity Fabry-Perot currently used is replaced by an interferometer based on a photorefractive crystal. The other technique has a high-finesse Sagnac cavity that filters the phase noise from the detection laser. Experimental results demonstrate that these two techniques significantly reduce limitations due to laser noise.

© 2004 Optical Society of America

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