This chapter extends the topics discussed in Chapter 2 and describes real-world parameters that need consideration when defining, designing, or selecting a spectrometer. The parameters and equations presented are very helpful for the design, selection, and calculation of a spectrometer and the components used. With regard to construction, it is recommended to apply ray tracing before building and testing a prototype. Even though ray-tracing programs are rather complicated to use, they will show all pathways of light travel. Some programs even provide guidelines to help improve the setup. Complicated designs, such as those required for imaging corrected spectrographs, require ray tracing. In terms of construction considerations, no light is to be shed on optical holders or other mechanical parts. It is assumed that the information available from suppliers is sufficient to select stable and useful kinematic holders as well as other mechanical components. (Mechanical stability and thermal impacts are discussed in Section 2.7.) Compact, integrated spectrometers are not discussed because they offer no access or flexibility to the customer - they either fit or they don’t.
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