, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 69-81
Date: 29 Jun 2011

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

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Abstract

A spectrally filtered Optical Frequency Comb (OFC) laser is proposed as a versatile calibration source for astronomical spectrometers in the 1–2 μm 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 Δλ/λ >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.