Low-cost laser detection system with a 360-deg horizontal field of view

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A low-cost laser detection system based on coherence detection has been developed and is able to detect weak, continuous laser sources even against bright background light. The system is composed of a Mach–Zehnder interferometer with one arm modified with a piezo-mounted mirror to modulate the path length. We introduce methods to determine the laser wavelength and to extend the horizontal field of view of the detector. To widen the field of view, a cone mirror is added to the system while the additional use of a camera allows the direction of the incoming laser beam to be studied. The wavelength from three different lasers is estimated with the use of the modulation amplitude of the piezo mirror. The preliminary results demonstrate that a 360-deg horizontal field of view can be achieved and that the direction of the laser beam can be determined with an estimated angular precision of ±5  deg. Moreover, the wavelength can be determined with a precision of ±10  nm. The system trades sensitivity for a larger field of view with the resultant detection sensitivity equal to 70 nW (or 1  μW  ·  cm  −  2) at 635 nm.
Original languageEnglish
Article number027106
JournalOptical Engineering
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 18 Feb 2021

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© The Authors. Published by SPIE under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License.
Distribution or reproduction of this work in whole or in part requires full attribution of the original publication, including its DOI


  • coherence discrimination
  • cone mirror
  • field of view
  • laser detection
  • laser direction
  • wavelength determination


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