Design of a stable fixed delay interferometer prototype for the ET project

Suvrath Mahadevan, Jian Ge, Curtis DeWitt, Julian Van Eyken, Gerald Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The ET instrument being developed at Penn State is a novel approach that is capable of precision radial velocity measurements using a modest resolution. A prototype version of this instrument is now set up permanently at the Kitt Peak 2.1m telescope and has recovered the radial velocity curve of 51 Peg. The stability of the Michelson interferometer used in the setup is very crucial to obtain accurate velocity results. In this paper we discuss the issues associated with field widening and temperature compensation over a wide wavelength range and also describe the design of a prototype interferometer that meets these criteria. Our current prototype design built in the lab already outperforms our old interferometer over short time spans. A new interferometer based on the prototype will replace our current actively stabilized interferometer at Kitt Peak. The increased stability will enable us to start our planet search program in 2005, and to observe targets suitable for asteroseismology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)615-623
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Issue numberPART 1
StatePublished - 2004
EventGround-based Instrumentation for Astronomy - Glasgow, United Kingdom
Duration: Jun 21 2004Jun 25 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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