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Proceedings Paper

Micromachined tunable Fabry-Perot filters for infrared astronomy
Author(s): D. Brent Mott; Richard B. Barclay; Alexander Bier; Tina C. Chen; Barbara DiCamillo; Drake Deming; Matthew A. Greenhouse; Ross Henry; Tilak Hewagama; Mindy Jacobson; Manuel Quijada; Shobita Satyapal; D. Scott Schwinger
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Paper Abstract

Micromachined Fabry-Perot tunable filters with a large clear aperture (12.5 to 40 mm) are being developed as an optical component for wide-field imaging spectroscopy. This program applies silicon micromachining fabrication techniques to miniaturize Fabry-Perot filters for astronomical science instruments. The filter assembly consists of two reflector plates that form a tunable Fabry-Perot etalon. One plate is fixed and the second plate is free to move along the optical axis on silicon springs. The moving plate is actuated electrostatically by capacitance pads on the stationary and moving plates. To reduce mass, both reflectors are fabricated by applying optical coatings to a thin freestanding silicon nitride film held flat in drumhead tension. In this paper, we discuss the etalon design, electromechanical modeling, fabrication, and initial results. In the current design, the transmission aperture is 11.0 mm in diameter, the moving plate is 26.3 mm in diameter, and the stationary plate is 32.6 mm in diameter. The plates and springs are nominally 350 μm thick, the electrical and mechanical spacing between plates is 18 μm, and the uncoated optical spacing is 15 μm.

Paper Details

Date Published: 7 March 2003
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 4841, Instrument Design and Performance for Optical/Infrared Ground-based Telescopes, (7 March 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.461595
Show Author Affiliations
D. Brent Mott, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard B. Barclay, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Alexander Bier, Global Science and Technology, Inc. (United States)
Tina C. Chen, Global Science and Technology, Inc. (United States)
Barbara DiCamillo, Global Science and Technology, Inc. (United States)
Drake Deming, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Matthew A. Greenhouse, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Ross Henry, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Tilak Hewagama, Univ. of Maryland/College Park (United States)
Mindy Jacobson, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Manuel Quijada, Swales Aerospace (United States)
Shobita Satyapal, George Mason Univ. (United States)
D. Scott Schwinger, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 4841:
Instrument Design and Performance for Optical/Infrared Ground-based Telescopes
Masanori Iye; Alan F. M. Moorwood, Editor(s)

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