18 August 2005 Absolute distance metrology for space interferometers
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Abstract
Future space missions, among which the Darwin Space Interferometer, will consist of several free flying satellites. A complex metrology system is required to have all the components fly accurately in formation and have it operate as a single instrument. Our work focuses on a possible implementation of the sub-system that measures the absolute distance between two satellites with high accuracy. For Darwin the required accuracy is on the order of 70 micrometer over a distance of 250 meter. We are exploring a technique called frequency sweeping interferometry, which involves interferometrically measuring a phase difference while sweeping the wavelength of a tunable laser. This phase difference is directly proportional to the absolute distance. A very high finesse Fabry-Perot cavity is used as a reference standard, to which the laser is locked at the end-points of the sweep. We will discuss our measurement scheme, our set-up and some first measurements.
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Bas L. Swinkels, Abdelhalim Latoui, Nandini Bhattacharya, Arno A. Wielders, Joseph J. M. Braat, "Absolute distance metrology for space interferometers", Proc. SPIE 5879, Recent Developments in Traceable Dimensional Measurements III, 58790N (18 August 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.618731; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.618731
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