Abstract

We develop an advanced approach to the optical spectrometer with acousto-optical dynamic grating for the Guillermo Haro astrophysical observatory (Mexico). The progress consists of two principle novelties. First is the use of the acousto-optical nonlinearity of two-phonon light scattering in crystals with linear acoustic losses. This advanced regime of light scattering exhibits a recently revealed additional degree of freedom, which allows tuning of the frequency of elastic waves and admits the nonlinear apodization improving the dynamic range. The second novelty is the combination of the cross-disperser with acousto-optical processing. A similar pioneering step provides an opportunity to operate over all the visible range in a parallel regime with maximal achievable resolution. The observation window of the optical spectrometer in that observatory is 9  cm, so that the theoretical estimations of maximal performances for a low-loss LiNbO3 crystal for this optical aperture at λ=405  nm give spectral resolution of 0.0523 Å, resolving power of 77,400, and 57,500 spots. The illustrative proof-of-principle experiments with a 6 cm LiNbO3 crystal have been performed.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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