We report on the construction and testing of a vacuum-gap Fabry-Pérot etalon calibrator for high precision radial velocity spectrographs. Our etalon is traced against a rubidium frequency standard to provide a cost effective, yet ultra precise wavelength reference. We describe here a turn-key system working at 500 to 900 nm, ready to be installed at any current and next-generation radial velocity spectrograph that requires calibration over a wide spectral bandpass. Where appropriate, we have used off-the-shelf, commercial components with demonstrated long-term performance to accelerate the development timescale of this instrument. Our system combines for the first time the advantages of passively stabilized etalons for optical and near-infrared wavelengths with the laser-locking technique demonstrated for single-mode fiber etalons. We realize uncertainties in the position of one etalon line at the 10cm s-1 level in individual measurements taken at 4 Hz. When binning the data over 10 s, we are able to trace the etalon line with a precision of better than 3cm s-1. We present data obtained during a week of continuous operation where we detect (and correct for) the predicted, but previously unobserved shrinking of the etalon Zerodur spacer corresponding to a shift of 13cm s-1 per day.
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems|
|Publication status||Published - 2017|
- echelle spectrograph
- radial velocity
- frequency standard
- optical fibers