A novel cryogenic Fabry-Pérot interferometer for far-infrared astronomy

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Veenendaal, Ian
University of Lethbridge. Faculty of Arts and Science
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
The continued improvement in the sensitivity of far-infrared detectors has caused scientists to reconsider the design of cryogenically cooled instruments which can fully exploit their potential. The SAFARI instrument on the SPICA observatory is one such instrument which will employ a medium resolution grating-based spectrometer, with an optional high-resolution module. While a Martin-Puplett Fourier transform spectrometer was ultimately selected for the high-resolution module, an initial design was a Fabry-P\'{e}rot interferometer This thesis presents the design and performance of a cryogenic, angle-scanned Fabry-P\'{e}rot interferometer for future far-infrared astronomical spectrometers. In addition, multiple custom subcomponents were required in order to characterize the interferometer, including a tunable terahertz line source, a cryogenic diffraction grating monochromator, and a cryogenic, laser-based position metrology system. Novel features of the design were discussed, and the spectral response of the instrument was modelled. Spectral line profiles were verified using specialized calibration line sources.
Fabry-Pérot Interferometry , Astronomical spectroscopy , Far infrared lasers , Low temperature engineering