You are on page 1of 3

Laser Doppler vibrometer

Basic components of a laser Doppler vibrometer
A laser Doppler vibrometer (LDV) is a scientific instrument that is used to make non-
contact vibration measurements of a surface. The laser beam from the LDV is directed at the
surface of interest, and the vibration amplitude and frequency are etracted from the Doppler
shift of the reflected laser beam frequency due to the motion of the surface. The output of an
LDV is !enerally a continuous analo! volta!e that is directly proportional to the tar!et
velocity component alon! the direction of the laser beam.
"ome advanta!es of an LDV over similar measurement devices such as an accelerometer are
that the LDV can be directed at tar!ets that are difficult to access, or that may be too small or
too hot to attach a physical transducer. Also, the LDV makes the vibration measurement
#ithout mass-loadin! the tar!et, #hich is especially important for $%$" devices.
Principles of operation
A vibrometer is !enerally a t#o beam laser interferometer that measures the frequency &or
phase' difference bet#een an internal reference beam and a test beam. The most common type
of laser in an LDV is the helium-neon laser, althou!h laser diodes, fiber lasers, and (d)*A+
lasers are also used. The test beam is directed to the tar!et, and scattered li!ht from the tar!et
is collected and interfered #ith the reference beam on a photodetector, typically a photodiode.
$ost commercial vibrometers #ork in a heterodyne re!ime by addin! a kno#n frequency
shift &typically ,-./- $01' to one of the beams. This frequency shift is usually !enerated by
a Bra!! cell, or acousto-optic modulator.
A schematic of a typical laser vibrometer is sho#n above. The beam from the laser, #hich has
a frequency f
o
, is divided into a reference beam and a test beam #ith a beamsplitter. The test
beam then passes throu!h the Bra!! cell, #hich adds a frequency shift f
b
. This frequency
shifted beam then is directed to the tar!et. The motion of the tar!et adds a Doppler shift to the
beam !iven by f
d
2 34v&t'4cos&5'67, #here v&t' is the velocity of the tar!et as a function of
time, 5 is the an!le bet#een the laser beam and the velocity vector, and 7 is the #avelen!th of
the li!ht.
Li!ht scatters from the tar!et in all directions, but some portion of the li!ht is collected by the
LDV and reflected by the beamsplitter to the photodetector. This li!ht has a frequency equal
to f
o
8 f
b
8 f
d
. This scattered li!ht is combined #ith the reference beam at the photo-detector.
The initial frequency of the laser is very hi!h &9 :-
:/
01', #hich is hi!her than the response of
the detector. The detector does respond, ho#ever, to the beat frequency bet#een the t#o
beams, #hich is at f
b
8 f
d
&typically in the tens of $01 ran!e'.
The output of the photodetector is a standard frequency modulated &;$' si!nal, #ith the
Bra!! cell frequency as the carrier frequency, and the Doppler shift as the modulation
frequency. This si!nal can be demodulated to derive the velocity vs. time of the vibratin!
tar!et.
Applications
LDVs are used in a #ide variety of scientific, industrial, and medical applications. "ome
eamples are provided belo#)
• Aerospace . LDVs are bein! used as tools in non-destructive inspection of aircraft
components.
<:=
• Acoustic . LDVs are standard tools for speaker desi!n, and have also been used to
dia!nose the performance of musical instruments.
<3=
• Architectural . LDVs are bein! used for brid!e and structure vibration tests.
<,=
• Automotive . LDVs have been used etensively in many automotive applications,
such as structural dynamics, brake dia!nostics, and quantification of (oise, vibration,
and harshness &(V0', measurement of accurate speed.
</=
• Biolo!ical . LDVs have been used for diverse applications such as eardrum
dia!nostics
<>=
and insect communication.
<?=
• @alibration . "ince LDVs measure motion that can be calibrated directly to the
#avelen!th of li!ht, they are frequently used to calibrate other types of transducers.
<A=
• 0ard Disk Drive Dia!nostics . LDVs have been used etensively in the analysis of
hard disk drives, specifically in the area of head positionin!.
<B=
• Landmine detection . LDVs have sho#n !reat promise in the detection of buried
landmines. The technique uses an audio source such as a loudspeaker to ecite the
!round, causin! the !round to vibrate a very small amount #ith the LDV used to
measure the amplitude of the !round vibrations. Areas above a buried mine sho# an
enhanced !round velocity at the resonance frequency of the mine-soil system. $ine
detection #ith sin!le-beam scannin! LDVs,
<C=
an array of LDVs,
<:-=
and multi-beam
LDVs
<::=
has been demonstrated.
• "ecurity . Laser Doppler vibrometers &LDVs' as non-contact vibration sensors have
an ability of remote voice acquisition. Dith the assistance of a visual sensor &camera',
various tar!ets in the environment, #here an audio event takes place, can be selected
as reflectin! surfaces for collectin! acoustic si!nals by an LDV. The performance of
the LDV !reatly depends on the vibration characteristics of the selected tar!ets
&surfaces' in the scene, on #hich a laser beam strikes and from #hich it returns.
<:3=
Types of laser Doppler vibrometers
• "in!le-point vibrometers . This is the most common type of LDV.
<:,=
Et can measure
one directional out of plane movement.
<:/=
• "cannin! vibrometers . A scannin! LDV adds a set of F-* scannin! mirrors, allo#in!
the sin!le laser beam to be moved across the surface of interest.
• ,-D vibrometers . A standard LDV measures the velocity of the tar!et alon! the
direction of the laser beam. To measure all three components of the tar!etGs velocity, a
,-D vibrometer measures a location #ith three independent beams, #hich strike the
tar!et from three different directions. This allo#s a determination of the complete in-
plane and out-of-plane velocity of the tar!et.
<:>=
• Hotational vibrometers . A rotational LDV is used to measure rotational or an!ular
velocity.
• Differential vibrometers . A differential LDV measures the out-of-plane velocity
difference bet#een t#o locations on the tar!et.
• $ulti-beam vibrometers . A multi-beam LDV measures the tar!et velocity at several
locations simultaneously.
• "elf-miin! vibrometers . "imple LDV confi!uration #ith ultra-compact optical head.
These are !enerally based on a laser diode #ith a built-in photodetector.
<:?=<:A=
• @ontinuous "can Laser Doppler Vibrometry &@"LDV' . A modified LDV that s#eeps
the laser continuously across the surface of the test specimen to capture the motion of
a surface at many points simultaneously