Abstract

This Letter demonstrates a new calibration-free 2f wavelength modulation spectroscopy (WMS) technique to measure gas concentration and pressure without the need for laser precharacterization. A 1650-nm laser diode is used for methane concentration and pressure measurements for pressures up to 4 bar and for a modulation index (m) of 2.2. All laser parameters such as the intensity, linear and nonlinear intensity modulation (IM), frequency modulation (FM) characteristics, the phase difference ψ1 between the FM and the linear IM, and the phase difference ψ2 between the FM and the nonlinear IM are accurately estimated in situ and in real time. This technique accounts for variations in these parameters that arise due to scanning of the laser’s center wavelength, laser temperature variations, and aging of the laser. The laser is modulated at its phase quadrature frequency at which the linear IM and the FM are orthogonal to each other (ψ1=90°). This ensures that the two linear IM-dependent distorting Fourier components are orthogonal to the detection axis, and the undistorted 2f signal is recovered. This simplifies the simulation and gas parameter-extraction process. Finally, 2f RAM nulling is implemented to remove the significant absorption-independent 2f residual amplitude-modulation (RAM) signal that is seen to cause significant distortion of the 2f signal and detector saturation.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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