Rubidium transitions as wavelength reference for astronomical Doppler spectrographs

D. Rogozin, T. Feger, C. Schwab, Y. V. Gurevich, G. Raskin, D. W. Coutts, J. Stuermer, A. Seifahrt, T. Fuehrer, T. Legero, H. Van Winckel, S. Halverson, A. Quirrenbach

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review


Precise wavelength calibration is a critical issue for high-resolution spectroscopic observations. The ideal calibration source should be able to provide a very stable and dense grid of evenly distributed spectral lines of constant intensity. A new method which satisfies all mentioned conditions has been developed by our group. The approach is to actively measure the exact position of a single spectral line of a Fabry-Perot etalon with very high precision with a wavelength-tuneable laser and compare it to an extremely stable wavelength standard. The ideal choice of standard is the D2 absorption line of Rubidium, which has been used as an optical frequency standard for decades. With this technique, the problem of stable wavelength calibration of spectrographs becomes a problem of how reliably we can measure and anchor one etalon line to the Rb transition. In this work we present our self-built module for Rb saturated absorption spectroscopy and discuss its stability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Optical Astronomical Instrumentation 2019
EditorsSimon Ellis, Céline d'Orgeville
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages2
ISBN (Electronic)9781510631472
ISBN (Print)9781510631465
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2020
EventAdvances in Optical Astronomical Instrumentation 2019 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: 9 Dec 201912 Dec 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceAdvances in Optical Astronomical Instrumentation 2019


  • Doppler spectroscopy
  • Fabry-Perot etalon
  • Hyperfine transition
  • Rubidium
  • Saturated absorption spectroscopy
  • Wavelength calibration


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