MIKES' primary phase stepping gauge block interferometer

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    15 Citations (Scopus)


    MIKES' modernized phase stepping interferometer for gauge block calibration (PSIGB) will be described. The instrument is based on the well-regarded NPL-TESA gauge block interferometer from 1994. The decision to upgrade the instrument resulted from several components, such as the PC and charge-coupled device (CCD) camera, having reached the end of their lifetime. In this paper modernized components, measurement method and analysis will be explained. The lasers are coupled to the instrument using single mode fiber. The instrument uses phase stepping generated by an added optical window on a controllable rotatory table in the reference arm with a recently developed nine-position phase stepping algorithm. Unwrapping is done with a robust path following algorithm. Procedures for adjusting the interferometer are explained. Determination and elimination of wavefront error, coherent noise and analysis of their influence on the results is described. Flatness and variation in length are also important parameters of gauge blocks to be characterized, and the corresponding analysis method is clarified. Uncertainty analysis for the central length, flatness and variation in length is also described. The results are compared against those of the old hardware and software. The standard uncertainty for central length measurement is u = [(9.5?nm)2 + (121 * 10-9?L)2]½, where L is measured length.
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number084009
    Number of pages9
    JournalMeasurement Science and Technology
    Issue number8
    Publication statusPublished - 2015
    MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


    • gauge block
    • interferometer
    • phase stepping
    • wavefront error
    • length
    • flatness


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