High spectral resolution lidars (HSRLs) have shown great value in aircraft aerosol remote sensing application and are planned for future satellite missions. A compact, robust, quasi-monolithic tilted field-widened Michelson interferometer is being developed as the spectral discrimination filter for an second-generation HSRL(HSRL-2) at NASA Langley Research Center. The Michelson interferometer consists of a cubic beam splitter, a solid arm and an air arm. Piezo stacks connect the air arm mirror to the body of the interferometer and can tune the interferometer within a small range. The whole interferometer is tilted so that the standard Michelson output and the reflected complementary output can both be obtained. In this paper, the transmission ratio is proposed to evaluate the performance of the spectral filter for HSRL. The transmission ratios over different types of system imperfections, such as cumulative wavefront error, locking error, reflectance of the beam splitter and anti-reflection coatings, system tilt, and depolarization angle are analyzed. The requirements of each imperfection for good interferometer performance are obtained.
©2012 Optical Society of America
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