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Purpose of the CHSLT

The metrological applications at the CHSLT concentrate on holographic interferometry, laser speckle metrology, fiber optic sensors, analytical and computational modeling of structural behavior under static as well as dynamic loading conditions, and other areas of current interest. In these measurements, special effort is made to develop effective means for computer-aided quantitative analysis of experimental data and to relate these quantitative analyses to theoretical results.

In the area of holographic interferometry, the CHSLT concentrates on studies of fundamental phenomena governing recording, reconstruction, and quantitative interpretation of holograms with special emphasis on applications. More specifically, the CHSLT maintains holographic systems for studies of static as well as dynamic problems. These systems range from conventional double-exposure holography, to real-time and time-average holography, heterodyne holography, stroboscopic heterodyne holography, pulsed laser holography, and electro-optic holography (EOH). The EOH system allows for direct electronic acquisition and processing of interferometric data in real-time and sets a new standard for quantitative holographic analysis.

The CHSLT also conducts experimental and computational research in the field of nanoindentation studies in conjunction with a laboratory system which is uniquely suited to measure elastic, plastic, creep, and fracture properties of materials in sub-micron geometries.

In addition, the CHSLT is equipped with a complete laser vibrometer system, GHz frequency range storage oscilloscopes, a spectrum analyzer, a self-contained network of personal computers, UNIX based workstations and image processors, a host of supporting instrumentation, and a library of finite element analysis and general purpose software.

A well equipped electrical engineering and instrument development laboratory, a fiber optic preparation laboratory, an optical microscopy laboratory and a multifunctional dark room are also parts of the CHSLT. Sample preparation as well as electron microscope capabilities are available on the WPI campus and are heavily used by the CHSLT personnel.

The strengths of the CHSLT lie in a comprehensive utilization of laser technology, optics, computational methods, mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, and computer data acquisition and processing. Building off of these strengths, greatly diversified projects in a number of areas of current interest are being conducted using the Center's own unique and innovative methods.