Abstract

The use of a Doppler asymmetric spatial heterodyne (DASH) interferometer with an Echelle grating provides the ability to simultaneously image the 558 and 630 nm emission lines (e.g., at grating orders of n=8 and n=7, respectively) of atomic oxygen in the thermosphere. By measuring the Doppler shifts of these lines (expected relative change in wavelength on the order of 108), we are able to determine the thermospheric winds. Because the expected wavelength changes due to the Doppler shift are so small, understanding, monitoring, and accounting for thermal effects is expected to be important. Previously, the thermal behavior of a temperature-compensated monolithic DASH interferometer was found to have a higher thermal sensitivity than predicted by a simple model [Opt. Express 18, 26430, 2010]. A follow-up study [Opt. Express 20, 9535, 2012] suggested that this is due to thermal distortion of the interferometer, which consists of materials with different coefficients of thermal expansion. In this work, we characterize the thermal drift of a nonmonolithic Echelle DASH interferometer and discuss the implications of these results on the use of only a single wavelength source during calibration. Furthermore, we perform a finite element analysis of the earlier monolithic interferometer in order to determine how distortion would affect the thermal sensitivity of that device. Incorporating that data into the model, we find good agreement between the modified model and the measured thermal sensitivities. These findings emphasize the fact that distortion needs to be considered for the design of thermally compensated, monolithic DASH interferometers.

© 2013 Optical Society of America

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