Abstract

Imaging lateral shearing interferometers are good candidates for airborne or spaceborne Fourier- transform spectral imaging. For such applications, compactness is one key parameter. In this article, we compare the size of four mirror-based interferometers, the Michelson interferometer with roof-top (or corner-cube) mirrors, and the cyclic interferometers with two, three, and four mirrors, focusing more particularly on the last two designs. We give the expression of the translation they induce between the two exiting rays. We then show that the cyclic interferometer with three mirrors can be made quite compact. Nevertheless, the Michelson interferometer is the most compact solution, especially for highly diverging beams.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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