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Laser Doppler Velocimetry Using a Modified Computer Mouse
American Journal of Physics
  • Edward D. Zaron, Portland State University
Document Type
Publication Date
  • Laser Doppler velocimetry,
  • Mice (Computers),
  • Surface emitting lasers,
  • Photodiodes,
  • Signal processing
A computer mouse has been modified for use as a low-cost laser Doppler interferometer and used to measure the two-component fluid velocity of a flowing soap film. The mouse sensor contains two vertical cavity surface emitting lasers, photodiodes, and signal processing hardware integrated into a single package, approximately 1 cm2 in size, and interfaces to a host computer via a standard USB port. Using the principle of self-mixing interferometry, whereby laser light re-enters the laser cavity after being scattered from a moving target, the Doppler shift and velocity of scatterers dispersed in the flow are measured. Observations of the boundary layer in a turbulent soap film channel flow demonstrate the capabilities of the sensor.

Copyright 2016 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. The definitive publisher version is available here.

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Citation Information
Zaron, E. D. (2016). Laser Doppler velocimetry using a modified computer mouse. American Journal of Physics, 84(10), 810-813.