Scientific Results

Optical Frequency Comb as a general-purpose and wide-band calibration source for astronomical high resolution infrared spectrographs

Year: 2011

Authors: Schettino G., Oliva E., Inguscio M., Baffa C., Giani E., Tozzi A., Cancio P.

Autors Affiliation: CNR – Istituto Nazionale di Ottica, Largo E. Fermi 6, Firenze 50125, Italy;
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Via Sansone 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Fi), Italy
LENS, Via Carrara 1, 50019 Sesto Fiorentino (Fi), Italy;
INAF-Oss. Astrofisico di Arcetri, Largo E. Fermi 5, 50125 Firenze, Italy

Abstract: A spectrally filtered Optical Frequency Comb (OFC) laser is proposed as a versatile calibration source for astronomical spectrometers in the 1-2 mu m spectral range. Such a source overcomes the limitations of current calibration lamps providing a uniform spectrum of equally spaced lines with similar intensity and extremely high long-term frequency stability. We present preliminary studies and results of a system which filters the OFC from a 100 MHz comb spacing to 16 GHz one, an adequate spacing for spectrometers with resolving power Delta lambda/lambda > 30000. The first approach employs two Fabry-Perot cavities in series, made of dielectric coated mirrors, followed by a non-linear optical broadening system. The limitations of such a filtering process are discussed. These can be overcome by the second approach, based on filtering cavities with metallic coated mirrors.

Journal/Review: EXPERIMENTAL ASTRONOMY (PRINT)

Volume: 31 (1)      Pages from: 69  to: 81

KeyWords: Optical Frequency Combs; Near-IR astronomical spectrographs;
DOI: 10.1007/s10686-011-9232-7

Citations: 7
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English