Periodic error is the major problem that limits the accuracy of heterodyne interferometry. A traceable system for periodic error measurement is developed based on a nonlinearity free Fabry-Perot (F-P) interferometer. The displacement accuracy of the F-P interferometer is 0.49 pm at 80 ms averaging time, with the measurement results referenced to an optical frequency comb. Experimental comparison between the F-P interferometer and a commercial heterodyne interferometer is carried out and it shows that the first harmonic periodic error dominates in the commercial heterodyne interferometer with an error amplitude of 4.64 nm.

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