Development of fiber Fabry-Perot interferometers as stable near-infrared calibration sources for high resolution spectrographs

Samuel Halverson, Suvrath Mahadevan, Lawrence Ramsey, Fred Hearty, John Wilson, Jon Holtzman, Stephen Redman, Gillian Nave, David Nidever, Matt Nelson, Nick Venditti, Dmitry Bizyaev, Scott Fleming

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


We discuss the ongoing development of single-mode fiber Fabry-Perot (FFP) Interferometers as precise astrophotonic calibration sources for high precision radial velocity (RV) spectrographs. FFPs are simple, inexpensive, monolithic units that can yield a stable and repeatable output spectrum. An FFP is a unique alternative to a traditional etalon, as the interferometric cavity is made of single-mode fiber rather than an air-gap spacer. This design allows for excellent collimation, high spectral finesse, rigid mechanical stability, insensitivity to vibrations, and no need for vacuum operation. The device we have tested is a commercially available product from Micron Optics.10 Our development path is targeted toward a calibration source for the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder (HPF), a near-infrared spectrograph designed to detect terrestrial-mass planets around low-mass stars, but this reference could also be used in many existing and planned fiber-fed spectrographs as we illustrate using the Apache Point Observatory Galactic Evolution Experiment (APOGEE) instrument. With precise temperature control of the fiber etalon, we achieve a thermal stability of 100 μK and associated velocity uncertainty of 22 cm s-1.We achieve a precision of ≈2 ms-1 in a single APOGEE fiber over 12 hr using this new photonic reference after removal of systematic correlations. This high precision (close to the expected photon-limited floor) is a testament to both the excellent intrinsic wavelength stability of the fiber interferometer and the stability of the APOGEE instrument design. Overall instrument velocity precision is 80 cm s-1 over 12 hr when averaged over all 300 APOGEE fibers and after removal of known trends and pressure correlations, implying the fiber etalon is intrinsically stable to significantly higher precision.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-458
Number of pages14
JournalPublications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
Issue number939
StatePublished - May 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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