Developmental testing of a prototype all-reflection Michelson interferometer
Risley, Allan David
Cleary, David D.
Davis, D. Scott
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A prototype all-reflective Michelson interferometer is tested using visible laser, sodium, and mercury light sources. The design uses an off-axis parabolic mirror for collimation, a plane diffraction grating and two plane mirrors to divide and recombine incident light. Interference fringes were seen using the laser light source, but instrument performance with other sources was unreliable as a result of difficulties in constructing the instrument with enough mechanical precision. A method of using a full-size template to position the instrument's optical elements was discovered, and the efficacy of an image intensifier/photodiode array combination for use as a detector was verified. The feasibility of the interferometer design was verified by the observation of interference fringes using mercury 5461 A light. A practical instrument would be compact, light weight, and require no moving parts
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