Fourier Transform Spectrographs (FTS) are versatile tools for measuring accurate, high resolution spectra. They are internally calibrated by a reference laser that runs in parallel to the science light. Therefore it is crucial to properly align these two beams with respect to each other. We show how this can be achieved by feeding a part of the reference light into the optical path of the science beam. For astronomical applications it’s often useful to use optical fibers. We present a coupling setup for our Bruker Optics IFS 125 FTS, consisting of (1) two hexagonal input fibers, (2) dichroic beam-combining for measuring two light sources simultaneously and (3) optimized optics to match the original Bruker design. The hexagonal shape of the fiber cores secures sufficient mode scrambling inside the fibers, resulting in constant beam parameters and a more homogeneous illumination of the entrance aperture of the FTS.
The Institute for Astrophysics Gottingen operates a solar observatory that combines a 50 cm siderostat with (1) a vacuum vertical telescope, (2) a very high resolution Fourier Transform Spectrograph (R < 900, 000 at 600 nm), and (3) a Laser Frequency Comb for extremely precise and accurate frequency calibration (< 10 cm/s). We introduce our setup that feeds the spectrograph with either a 32.5” field of view of the solar surface, or with disk-integrated sunlight for Sun-as-a-star observations and explain the necessary computational steps to guide specific positions on the solar surface into the fiber. Our instrument suite can deliver spectroscopic measurements with extremely accurate frequency calibration, which is valid across very large frequency regions (approx. 400-800 nm in wavelength). This allows precision spectroscopy of individual lines in order to study the variability of spectral lines in Sun-as-a-star observations as well as determining the convective blueshift across the solar surface from many spectral lines.
High resolution spectroscopy enables the detection of atmospheres of exoplanets. To reach the required radial velocity precision of about 1 m/s, calibration with even more precise sources is mandatory. HIRES will employ several calibration sources, the most important ones are an Laser Frequency Comb (LFC) and Fabry-P´erots (FP). The LFC needs to be filtered with a set of FP. One possible solution is to illuminate this set of FP with a broadband light source and use them as calibrators, when they are not used for filtering the LFC. It has been demonstrated that passively-stabilized FP can perform better than 10 cm/s per night. We give an overview of the currently used FP in different surveys and compare their individual features. For the FP which may be used in HIRES we discuss different configuration. We show that the Finesse and FSR of the FP needs to be optimized with regard to the resolution of the spectrograph and we outline how we aim to fulfill the requirements of HIRES.
The paper describes the preliminary design of the MICADO calibration assembly. MICADO, the Multi-AO Imaging CAmera for Deep Observations, is targeted to be one of the first light instruments of the Extremely Large Telescope (ELT) and it will embrace imaging, spectroscopic and astrometric capabilities including their calibration. The astrometric requirements are particularly ambitious aiming for ~ 50 μas differential precision within and between single epochs. The MICADO Calibration Assembly (MCA) shall deliver flat-field, wavelength and astrometric calibration and it will support the instrument alignment to the Single-Conjugate Adaptive Optics wavefront sensor. After a complete overview of the MCA subsystems, their functionalities, design and status, we will concentrate on the ongoing prototype testing of the most challenging components. Particular emphasis is put on the development and test of the Warm Astrometric Mask (WAM) for the calibration of the optical distortions within MICADO and MAORY, the multiconjugate AO module.
The wavelength calibration and nightly drift measurements for CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths with Near-infrared and optical Echelle Spectrographs) are provided by a combination of hollow cathode lamps and two Fabry-Pérot units. CARMENES consists of two spectrograph, one for the visible part of the spectrum (520 -960 nm) and one for the near infrared (960 - 1710 nm). Each spectrograph has its own calibration unit and its own Fabry-Pérot. The calibration units are equipped with Th-Ne, U-Ar and U-Ne hollow cathode lamps as well as a flat field lamp. The Fabry-Pérots are optimized for the wavelength ranges of the spectrographs and use halogen-tungsten lamps as light sources. The Fabry-Pérots have a free spectral range of 15 GHz for the visible and 12.2 GHz for the near infrared which translates to 17,900 useful emission lines for the visible spectrograph and 9,700 for the infrared. These lines are used to compute the wavelength solution, and to monitor the instrumental drift during the night. The Fabry-Pérot units are temperature and pressure stabilized and designed to reach an internal stability of better than 10 cm/s per night. Here, we present the designs of both Fabry-Pérot units and the calibration units.
The instrumentation plan for the E-ELT foresees a High Resolution Spectrograph (HIRES). Among its main goals are the detection of atmospheres of exoplanets and the determination of fundamental physical constants. For this, high radial velocity precision and accuracy are required. HIRES will be designed for maximum intrinsic stability. Systematic errors from effects like intrapixel variations or random errors like fiber noise need to be calibrated. Based on the main requirements for the calibration of HIRES, we discuss different potential calibration sources and how they can be applied. We outline the frequency calibration concept for HIRES using these sources.
This paper gives an overview of the CARMENES instrument and of the survey that will be carried out with it
during the first years of operation. CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exoearths
with Near-infrared and optical Echelle Spectrographs) is a next-generation radial-velocity instrument
under construction for the 3.5m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory by a consortium of eleven Spanish
and German institutions. The scientific goal of the project is conducting a 600-night exoplanet survey targeting
~ 300 M dwarfs with the completed instrument.
The CARMENES instrument consists of two separate echelle spectrographs covering the wavelength range
from 0.55 to 1.7 μm at a spectral resolution of R = 82,000, fed by fibers from the Cassegrain focus of the telescope.
The spectrographs are housed in vacuum tanks providing the temperature-stabilized environments necessary to
enable a 1 m/s radial velocity precision employing a simultaneous calibration with an emission-line lamp or with
a Fabry-Perot etalon. For mid-M to late-M spectral types, the wavelength range around 1.0 μm (Y band) is the
most important wavelength region for radial velocity work. Therefore, the efficiency of CARMENES has been
optimized in this range.
The CARMENES instrument consists of two spectrographs, one equipped with a 4k x 4k pixel CCD for
the range 0.55 - 1.05 μm, and one with two 2k x 2k pixel HgCdTe detectors for the range from 0.95 - 1.7μm.
Each spectrograph will be coupled to the 3.5m telescope with two optical fibers, one for the target, and one
for calibration light. The front end contains a dichroic beam splitter and an atmospheric dispersion corrector,
to feed the light into the fibers leading to the spectrographs. Guiding is performed with a separate camera;
on-axis as well as off-axis guiding modes are implemented. Fibers with octagonal cross-section are employed to
ensure good stability of the output in the presence of residual guiding errors. The fibers are continually actuated
to reduce modal noise. The spectrographs are mounted on benches inside vacuum tanks located in the coud´e
laboratory of the 3.5m dome. Each vacuum tank is equipped with a temperature stabilization system capable
of keeping the temperature constant to within ±0.01°C over 24 hours. The visible-light spectrograph will be
operated near room temperature, while the near-IR spectrograph will be cooled to ~ 140 K.
The CARMENES instrument passed its final design review in February 2013. The MAIV phase is currently
ongoing. First tests at the telescope are scheduled for early 2015. Completion of the full instrument is planned
for the fall of 2015. At least 600 useable nights have been allocated at the Calar Alto 3.5m Telescope for the
CARMENES survey in the time frame until 2018.
A data base of M stars (dubbed CARMENCITA) has been compiled from which the CARMENES sample can
be selected. CARMENCITA contains information on all relevant properties of the potential targets. Dedicated imaging, photometric, and spectroscopic observations are underway to provide crucial data on these stars that
are not available in the literature.
CARMENES (Calar Alto high-Resolution search for M dwarfs with Exo-earths with Near-infrared and optical Echelle Spectrographs) is a next-generation instrument for the 3.5m telescope at the Calar Alto Observatory, built by a consortium of eleven Spanish and German institutions. The CARMENES instrument consists of two separate échelle spectrographs covering the wavelength range from 0.55 μm to 1.7 μm at a spectral resolution of R = 82, 000, fed by fibers from the Cassegrain focus of the telescope. Both spectrographs are housed in temperature-stabilized vacuum tanks, to enable a long-term 1 m/s radial velocity precision employing a simultaneous calibration with Th-Ne and U-Ne emission line lamps. CARMENES has been optimized for a search for terrestrial planets in the habitable zones (HZs) of low-mass stars, which may well provide our first chance to study environments capable of supporting the development of life outside the Solar System. With its unique combination of optical and near-infrared ´echelle spectrographs, CARMENES will provide better sensitivity for the detection of low-mass planets than any comparable instrument, and a powerful tool for discriminating between genuine planet detections and false positives caused by stellar activity. The CARMENES survey will target 300 M dwarfs in the 2014 to 2018 time frame.
The most frequently used standard light sources for spectroscopic high precision wavelength calibration are
hollow cathode lamps. These lamps, however, do not provide homogeneous line distribution and intensities.
Particularly in the infrared, the number of useful lines is severely limited and the spectrum is contaminated by
lines of the filler gas. With the goal of achieving sub m/s stability in the infrared, as required for detecting
earthlike extra-solar planets, we are developing two passively stabilized Fabry-Perot interferometers for the red
visible (600-1050nm) and near infrared wavelength regions (900-1350nm). Each of the two interferometers can
produce ~15,000 lines of nearly constant brightness. The Fabry-Perot interferometers aim at a RV calibration
precision of 10cm/s and are optimized in line shape and spacing for the infrared planet hunting CARMENES
spectrograph that is currently being built for the Calar Alto 3.5m telescope. Here we present the first results of
At the Institute for Astrophysics Goettingen (IAG), we are purchasing a high resolution
Fourier Transform Spectrograph (FTS) for astronomical observations and development of
calibration standards aiming at high wavelength precision. Astronomical spectrographs
that work in the regime of very high resolution (resolving powers λ/δλ≥105) now achieve
unprecedented precision and stability. Precise line shifts can be investigated to conclude for
an objects radial velocity relative to the observer. As a long-term scientific goal, the evolution
of galaxy redshift due to dark energy can be monitored. Also, the detection of lower mass,
down to Earth-like planets will become feasible. Here, M-dwarfs are promising objects where
an orbiting exo-Earth can cause a wavelength shift large enough to be detected. Emitting
mainly in the near infrared (NIR), these objects require novel calibration standards. Current
schemes under consideration are gas cathode lamps (e.g. CN, UNe) and a highly stable
Fabry-Perot interferometer (FPI) to act as a cost-efficient alternative to the laser frequency
comb (LFC, ). In addition to experiments exploring novel wavelength calibration types,
light will be fed from our telescopes at IAG. A Vacuum Tower Telescope (VTT) for solar
observations and the 50 cm Cassegrain telescope allow to investigate stellar and spatially
resolved light at our facilities.