AAS 205th Meeting, 9-13 January 2005
Session 5 Visible/UV/IR Space Missions and Technology
Poster, Monday, January 10, 2005, 9:20am-6:30pm, Exhibit Hall

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[5.20] Picometer Precision Measurements of Fringe Phase and Wavelengths in MAM

X. Pan, M. Shao, R. Goullioud (JPL)

The Space Interferometry Mission (SIM), a micro-arcsecond astrometry mission, is the only mission, either operational or in planning, that will be capable of measuring the mass of extra-solar planets, mass being the fundamental property that determines whether the planet is capable of holding an Earth-like atmosphere.

One of the SIM testbeds at JPL, the Micro-Arcsecond Metrology (MAM) testbed, addresses how to measure interferometer fringe phase and wavelengths accurately at the level of picometers (10-12 m). The MAM testbed uses a pathlength modulation scheme for fringe detection, using ten samples per stroke, with stroke-length close to the wavelength of a spectral channel. The MAM testbed has demonstrated the measurement of optical pathlength delays to picometer precision. Longer strokes (tens of microns) enable both fringe and modulation envelope to be detected, yielding accurate wavelength measurements at the picometer level for the first time.

This paper describes the fundamental principles of a new technique for calibration and measurement of fringes for targets that have various spectra, in which effective wavelength varies significantly for different spectral channels. Test results and variations with time are analyzed. Conformation of measurenet accuracy and stability are described in this paper.

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Bulletin of the American Astronomical Society, 36 5
© 2004. The American Astronomical Society.