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, Bas L. Swinkels, Abdelhalim Latoui, Abdelhalim Latoui, Nandini Bhattacharya, Nandini Bhattacharya, Arno A. Wielders, Arno A. Wielders, Joseph J. M. Braat, 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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