Dramatic robustness of a multiple delay dispersed interferometer to spectrograph errors: how mixing delays reduces or cancels wavelength drift
Erskine, David J.
Muirhead, Philip S.
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CitationDavid J Erskine, E Linder, E Wishnow, J Edelstein, M Sirk, P Muirhead, J Lloyd, A Kim. Proc. SPIE 9908, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 99085Y (August 9, 2016); doi:10.1117/12.2230182
We describe demonstrations of remarkable robustness to instrumental noises by using a multiple delay externally dispersed interferometer (EDI) on stellar observations at the Hale telescope. Previous observatory EDI demonstrations used a single delay. The EDI (also called “TEDI”) boosted the 2,700 resolution of the native TripleSpec NIR spectrograph (950-2450 nm) by as much as 10x to 27,000, using 7 overlapping delays up to 3 cm. We observed superb rejection of fixed pattern noises due to bad pixels, since the fringing signal responds only to changes in multiple exposures synchronous to the applied delay dithering. Remarkably, we observed a ~20x reduction of reaction in the output spectrum to PSF shifts of the native spectrograph along the dispersion direction, using our standard processing. This allowed high resolution observations under conditions of severe and irregular PSF drift otherwise not possible without the interferometer. Furthermore, we recently discovered an improved method of weighting and mixing data between pairs of delays that can theoretically further reduce the net reaction to PSF drift to zero. We demonstrate a 350x reduction in reaction to a native PSF shift using a simple simulation. This technique could similarly reduce radial velocity noise for future EDI’s that use two delays overlapped in delay space (or a single delay overlapping the native peak). Finally, we show an extremely high dynamic range EDI measurement of our ThAr lamp compared to a literature ThAr spectrum, observing weak features (~0.001x height of nearest strong line) that occur between the major lines. Because of individuality of each reference lamp, accurate knowledge of its spectrum between the (unfortunately) sparse major lines is important for precision radial velocimetry.