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Proceedings Paper

Reference interferometer using a semiconductor laser/LED reference source in a cryogenic Fourier-transform spectrometer
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Paper Abstract

A combination of a single mode AlGaAs laser diode and a broadband LED was used in a Michelson interferometer to provide reference signals in a Fourier transform spectrometer, the Composite Infrared Spectrometer, on the Cassini mission to Saturn. The narrowband light from a laser produced continuous fringe throughout the travel of the interferometer, which were used to control the velocity of the scan mechanism and to trigger data sampling. The broadband light from the LED produced a burst of fringes at zero path difference, which was used as a fixed position reference. The system, including the sources, the interferometer, and the detectors, was designed to work both at room temperature and at the instrument operating temperature of 170 Kelvin. One major challenge that was overcome was preservation, from room temperature to 170 K, of alignment sufficient for high modulation of fringes from the broadband source. Another was the shift of the source spectra about 30 nm toward shorter wavelengths upon cooldown.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 September 1998
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 3435, Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments VIII, (17 September 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.323746
Show Author Affiliations
Anthony J. Martino, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Donald M. Cornwell, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3435:
Cryogenic Optical Systems and Instruments VIII
James B. Heaney; Lawrence G. Burriesci, Editor(s)

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