An angle-scanned cryogenic Fabry-Pérot interferometer for far-infrared astronomy

Ian Veenendaal*, David Naylor, Brad Gom, Adam Christiansen, Willem Jellema, Carolien Feenstra, Marcel Ridder, Martin Eggens, Peter Ade

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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The sensitivity of state-of-the-art superconducting far-infrared detectors used in conjunction with cryogenically cooled space telescopes and instrumentation is such that spectroscopic observations are generally limited by photon noise from the astronomical source or by galactic foreground or zodiacal emission within the field-of-view. Therefore, an instrument design that restricts the spectral bandpass viewed by the detector must be employed. One method of achieving background limited, high resolution spectroscopy is to combine a high resolution component such as a Fabry-Pérot interferometer (FPI) with a lower resolution, post-dispersing system, such as a grating spectrometer, the latter serving to restrict the spectral bandpass. The resonant wavelength of an FPI is most often tuned by changing the spacing or medium between the parallel reflecting plates of the etalon. In this paper, we present a novel design for an FPI in which the wavelength is tuned by scanning the angle of incidence on a high refractive index etalon. This concept simplifies the cryomechanical design, actuation, and metrology. The first results from the realized instrument are presented and compared with theory. The effects on the spectral response as a function of the incident angle have been simulated and shown to agree well with the observation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number083108
Number of pages10
JournalReview of Scientific Instruments
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1-Aug-2020



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