Abstract Noise always exists in the photoelectric signal detected by the laser Doppler velocimeter (LDV). In this article, a new method of signal processing is proposed in order to eliminate the noise interference and enhance the measurement accuracy of LDV. The least mean square (LMS) adaptive filter technology is applied in the signal detection system of LDV. Basic principle of LMS algorithm is briefly introduced first, and then for the algorithm validation, a computing simulation of ideal sinusoidal signal is carried out on the MATLAB platform. The simulation and experiment results indicate that this technology has effectively improved signal noise ratio (SNR) of Doppler signal and reduced the system request for SNR of signal. We can obviously improve the noise-proof ability, the sensibility and measurement accuracy of LDV system. This application creates conditions for the design of high accuracy LDV.