• Coherent Optics Lab

Coherent Optics Laboratory


The Coherent Optics Laboratory at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI, is equipped to perform non-contact full-field measurement of the mechanical behavior of solid bodies. The laboratory is available on a contract basis, and short courses can be designed to meet the needs of industry.


Optical measurement

Optical measurement techniques used in the laboratory include:
  • Holographic interferometry
  • Speckle-shearing interferometry
  • Strobo-scopic holography
  • Time-integrated holography.

These techniques allow non-contact detection and measurement of stress, stress concentrations, distortions due to loading, residual stress, steady state vibration amplitudes, steady-state vibration modal analysis, and other related mechanical characteristics.

Laboratory equipment

  • Four helium-neon lasers
  • A high quality air-suspended optical table
  • Three high-strength optical tables for larger manufactured components
  • Two digital image processing work stations.

The image processing workstations are designed for prototype development of systems for industrial applications where measurement, inspection, and/or alignment is required.

Hardware and software

  • Algor and ANSYS finite element software is accessible in the laboratory for numerical evaluation of manufactured parts and assemblies.
  • Image Lab and in-house software are used to support image analysis requirements.
  • Stratgraphics software is available for statistical analysis and data processing.

For more information:
More information is available from Dr. Richard B. Hathaway, laboratory director.


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo MI 49008-5343 USA
269-276-3420 | 269-276-3421 Fax