A laser velocimetry system that employs a low power laser. The laser has a power of up to about 100 mW. Light from the laser, in one embodiment, is directed through a multimode optical fiber and an optical probe to a surface of a moving sample. Doppler-shifted light from the surface is reflected back through the optical probe and multimode optical fiber to a circulator, which directs the light reflected from the surface to a second multimode optical fiber. Unshifted (i.e., non-Doppler shifted) light is also introduced into the optical signal path. The Doppler shifted reflected light and the unshifted light are then transmitted through the second multimode optical fiber to a detector, which converts the reflected light into an electronic signal. The electronic signal of the "beat" between the Doppler shifted light and unshifted light may then be digitized by an analyzer and used to determine the velocity of the moving surface. A method of determining the velocity of a moving object is also described.
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERAL RIGHTS
 This invention was made with government support under Contract No. DE-AC 52-06 NA 25396, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.