Developments in laser Doppler accelerometry (LDAc) and comparison with laser Doppler velocimetry

This paper outlines the principles and early development of an interferometric technique for remote measurement of vibration acceleration — laser Doppler accelerometry (LDAc). One of the key advantages of LDAc over laser Doppler velocimetry (LDV) is its ability to measure extremely high vibration accelerations and shocks, effectively without limit, and this point is expanded upon in the paper. Early LDAc development showed how unwanted, velocity-dependent optical beats could occur on the photodetector but novel use of a frequency shifting device, whose primary purpose was for direction discrimination, was successful in isolating the required acceleration-dependent beat. A problem remained in the rate at which the velocity-dependent and acceleration-dependent beats broadened during target motion. In a further development, it was possible to 'select’ a back reflection to produce a velocity-dependent beat that was NOT modulated in the presence of target motion. The acceleration-dependent beat could then be demodulated and preliminary results are given to demonstrate this outcome.