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1Mount Stromlo and Siding Spring Observatories
Private Bag, Weston Creek P.O., ACT 2611, Australia
E-mail: dhj@mso.anu.edu.au


2Anglo-Australian Observatory,
P.O. Box 296, Epping NSW 2121, Australia
E-mail: jbh@aaossz.aao.gov.au



Abstract:

We describe a method to quantify the degree of parallelism between two transparent glass mirrors spaced a few microns apart. Our technique, which permits measurement and correction of deviations as small as $\lambda/10000$ from parallelism, is fundamental to the successful operation of tunable narrowband interference filters for two reasons. First, the highest throughput is achieved when the plates are parallel at any plate spacing. Secondly, the lowest resolution (largest bandpass) imaging is achieved when the plates are only a few microns apart but there is a real danger of the plates touching if parallelism is not maintained.

The TAURUS Tunable Filter (TTF1) is a Fabry-Perot cavity with an adjustable plate spacing of 2 to 13 $\mu $m. The parallelism measurement involves repeated imaging through a focal plane slit and a series of pupil plane masks. This approach is particularly efficient when the plate scanning is synchronized with movement of charge on the CCD. We assess the effects of wavelength-dependent phase changes within the inner surface coatings of the plates. These become important as the plates approach a spacing comparable in size to the thickness of the coatings.

instrumentation: Fabry-Perot interferometers -- detectors: charge-coupled devices



 
next up previous
Next: Introduction
Joss Bland-Hawthorn
2000-02-09