Abstract

We investigated the accuracy limitation of a wavelength meter installed in a vacuum chamber to enable us to develop a highly accurate meter based on a Michelson interferometer in 1550nm optical communication bands. We found that an error of parts per million order could not be avoided using famous wavelength compensation equations. Chromatic dispersion of the refractive index in air can almost be disregarded when a 1560nm wavelength produced by a rubidium (Rb) stabilized distributed feedback (DFB) diode laser is used as a reference wavelength. We describe a novel dual-wavelength self-calibration scheme that maintains high accuracy of the wavelength meter. The method uses the fundamental and second-harmonic wavelengths of an Rb-stabilized DFB diode laser. Consequently, a highly accurate Michelson type wavelength meter with an absolute accuracy of 5×108 (10MHz, 0.08pm) over a wide wavelength range including optical communication bands was achieved without the need for a vacuum chamber.

© 2009 Optical Society of America

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