Theoretical performance limits of stationary Fourier spectrometers without mechanical scanning are analyzed and compared with the performance of a scanning Fourier spectrometer. Spectrometers employing uncollimated light are most favorable. In amplitude-splitting interferometers the reduction in fringe visibility brought about by the extended source can be avoided and leads to high optical throughput in the corresponding spectrometer. In a stationary wave-front-splittirig interferometer, realized without a beam splitter, the fringe contrast depends on the size of the source. The use of a slit source increases the optical throughput of source-size-limited spectrometers.
© 1991 Optical Society of America
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