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Published February 23, 2018 | Submitted
Journal Article Open

Soliton Microcomb Range Measurement


Laser-based range measurement systems are important in many application areas, including autonomous vehicles, robotics, manufacturing, formation flying of satellites, and basic science. Coherent laser ranging systems using dual-frequency combs provide an unprecedented combination of long range, high precision, and fast update rate. We report dual-comb distance measurement using chip-based soliton microcombs. A single pump laser was used to generate dual-frequency combs within a single microresonator as counterpropagating solitons. We demonstrated time-of-flight measurement with 200-nanometer precision at an averaging time of 500 milliseconds within a range ambiguity of 16 millimeters. Measurements at distances up to 25 meters with much lower precision were also performed. Our chip-based source is an important step toward miniature dual-comb laser ranging systems that are suitable for photonic integration.

Additional Information

© 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received 26 June 2017; accepted 11 January 2018. We thank N. Newbury, X. Yi, and Q. Yang for helpful discussions and feedback on this manuscript. Supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under the SCOUT (contract no. W911NF-16-1-0548) program, the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and the Kavli Nanoscience Institute.

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