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Proceedings Paper

Mach-Zehnder Fourier transform spectrometer for astronomical spectroscopy at submillimeter wavelengths
Author(s): David A. Naylor; Bradley G. Gom; Ian Schofield; Gregory Tompkins; Gary R. Davis
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Paper Abstract

Astronomical spectroscopy at submillimeter wavelengths holds much promise for fields as diverse as the study of planetary atmospheres, molecular clouds and extragalactic sources. Fourier transform spectrometers (FTS) represent an important class of spectrometers well suited to observations that require broad spectral coverage at intermediate spectral resolution. In this paper we present the design and performance of a novel FTS, which has been developed for use at the James Clerk Maxwell Telescope (JCMT). The design uses two broadband intensity beamsplitters in a Mach-Zehnder configuration, which provide access to all four interferometer ports while maintaining a high and uniform efficiency over a broad spectral range. Since the interferometer processes both polarizations it is twice as efficient as the Martin-Puplett interferometer (MPI). As with the MPI, the spatial separation of the two input ports allows a reference blackbody to be viewed at all times in one port, while continually viewing the astronomical source in the other. Furthermore, by minimizing the size of the optical beam at the beamsplitter, the design is well suited to imaging Fourier transform spectroscopy (IFTS) as evidenced by its selection for the SPIRE instrument on Herschel.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 2003
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 4855, Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy, (17 February 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.459108
Show Author Affiliations
David A. Naylor, Univ. of Lethbridge (United States)
Bradley G. Gom, Univ. of Lethbridge (United States)
Ian Schofield, Univ. of Lethbridge (United States)
Gregory Tompkins, Univ. of Lethbridge (United States)
Gary R. Davis, Univ. of Saskatchewan (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4855:
Millimeter and Submillimeter Detectors for Astronomy
Thomas G. Phillips; Jonas Zmuidzinas, Editor(s)

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