OSA's Digital Library

Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 6 — Mar. 12, 2012
  • pp: 6631–6643

Demonstration of on-sky calibration of astronomical spectra using a 25 GHz near-IR laser frequency comb

Gabriel G. Ycas, Franklyn Quinlan, Scott A. Diddams, Steve Osterman, Suvrath Mahadevan, Stephen Redman, Ryan Terrien, Lawrence Ramsey, Chad F. Bender, Brandon Botzer, and Steinn Sigurdsson  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 6, pp. 6631-6643 (2012)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (2027 KB) | SpotlightSpotlight on Optics

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



We describe and characterize a 25 GHz laser frequency comb based on a cavity-filtered erbium fiber mode-locked laser. The comb provides a uniform array of optical frequencies spanning 1450 nm to 1700 nm, and is stabilized by use of a global positioning system referenced atomic clock. This comb was deployed at the 9.2 m Hobby-Eberly telescope at the McDonald Observatory where it was used as a radial velocity calibration source for the fiber-fed Pathfinder near-infrared spectrograph. Stellar targets were observed in three echelle orders over four nights, and radial velocity precision of ∼10 m/s (∼6 MHz) was achieved from the comb-calibrated spectra.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(190.7110) Nonlinear optics : Ultrafast nonlinear optics
(300.6340) Spectroscopy : Spectroscopy, infrared
(350.1270) Other areas of optics : Astronomy and astrophysics

ToC Category:
Nonlinear Optics

Original Manuscript: January 23, 2012
Revised Manuscript: February 27, 2012
Manuscript Accepted: February 28, 2012
Published: March 6, 2012

Virtual Issues
April 13, 2012 Spotlight on Optics

Gabriel G. Ycas, Franklyn Quinlan, Scott A. Diddams, Steve Osterman, Suvrath Mahadevan, Stephen Redman, Ryan Terrien, Lawrence Ramsey, Chad F. Bender, Brandon Botzer, and Steinn Sigurdsson, "Demonstration of on-sky calibration of astronomical spectra using a 25 GHz near-IR laser frequency comb," Opt. Express 20, 6631-6643 (2012)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. C. Lovis and D. Fischer, Radial Velocity Techniques for Exoplanets (University of Arizona Press, 2010), 27–53.
  2. M. T. Murphy, T. Udem, R. Holzwarth, A. Sizmann, L. Pasquini, C. Araujo-Hauck, H. Dekker, S. D’Odorico, M. Fischer, T. W. Hänsch, and A. Manescau, “High-precision wavelength calibration of astronomical spectrographs with laser frequency combs,” Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc.380, 839–847 (2007). [CrossRef]
  3. C.-H. Li, A. J. Benedick, P. Fendel, A. G. Glenday, F. X. Kartner, D. F. Phillips, D. Sasselov, A. Szentgyorgyi, and R. L. Walsworth, “A laser frequency comb that enables radial velocity measurements with a precision of 1 cm s−1,” Nature452, 610–612 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  4. S. Osterman, M. Beasley, C. Froning, S. Diddams, L. Hollberg, V. Mbele, and A. Weiner, “A proposed laser frequency comb-based wavelength reference for high-resolution specroscopy,” Proc. SPIE 6693, D. Coulter, ed., 66931G (2007). [CrossRef]
  5. D. A. Braje, M. S. Kirchner, S. Osterman, T. Fortier, and S. A. Diddams, “Astronomical spectrograph calibration with broad-spectrum frequency combs,” Eur. Phys. J. D48, 57–66 (2008). [CrossRef]
  6. T. Steinmetz, T. Wilken, C. Araujo-Hauck, R. Holzwarth, T. W. Hänsch, L. Pasquini, A. Manescau, S. D’Odorico, M. T. Murphy, T. Kentischer, W. Schmidt, and T. Udem, “Laser frequency combs for astronomical observations,” Science321, 1335–1337 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  7. G. Schettino, E. Oliva, M. Inguscio, C. Baffa, E. Giani, A. Tozzi, and P. Pastor, “Optical frequency comb as a general-purpose and wide-band calibration source for astronomical high resolution infrared spectrographs,” Exp. Astron.31, 69–81 (2011). [CrossRef]
  8. T. Wilken, C. Lovis, A. Manescau, T. Steinmetz, L. Pasquini, G. Lo Curto, T. W. Hänsch, R. Holzwarth, and T. Udem, “High-precision calibration of spectrographs,” Mon. Not. R. Astron. Soc.405, L16–L20 (2010). [CrossRef]
  9. A. J. Benedick, G. Chang, J. R. Birge, L.-J. Chen, A. G. Glenday, C.-H. Li, D. F. Phillips, A. Szentgyorgyi, S. Korzennik, G. Furesz, R. L. Walsworth, and F. X. Kärtner, “Visible wavelength astro-comb,” Opt. Express18, 19175–19184 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. S. P. Stark, T. Steinmetz, R. A. Probst, H. Hundertmark, T. Wilken, T. W. Hänsch, T. Udem, P. S. J. Russell, and R. Holzwarth, “14 GHz visible supercontinuum generation: calibration sources for astronomical spectrographs,” Opt. Express19, 15690–15695 (2011). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  11. S. L. Redman, J. E. Lawler, G. Nave, L. W. Ramsey, and S. Mahadevan, “The infrared spectrum of uranium hollow cathode lamps from 850 nm to 4000 nm: wavenumbers and line identifications from Fourier transform spectra,” Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser.195, 24 (2011). [CrossRef]
  12. S. Mahadevan and J. Ge, “The use of absorption cells as a wavelength reference for precision radial velocity measurements in the near-infrared,” Astrophys. J.692, 1590 (2009). [CrossRef]
  13. L. W. Ramsey, S. Mahadevan, S. Redman, C. Bender, A. Roy, S. Zonak, S. Sigurdsson, and A. Wolszczan, “The Pathfinder testbed: exploring techniques for achieving precision radial velocities in the near infrared,” Proc. SPIE7735, 773571 (2010). [CrossRef]
  14. S. Mahadevan, L. Ramsey, S. Redman, C. Bender, B. Botzer, R. Terrien, S. Osterman, S. Diddams, G. Ycas, F. Quinlan, A. Roy, and S. Zonak, “Precision radial velocities in the near-infrared Y and H bands with the Penn State Pathfinder instrument,” in Am. Astron. Soc.–Meeting Abstracts #217, 43 401.01(2011). [PubMed]
  15. T. Wilken, T. Hänsch, R. Holzwarth, and M. M. P. Adel, “Low phase noise 250 MHz repetition rate fiber fs laser for frequency comb applications,” in Proceedings of the CLEO/QELS Conference CMR3 (2007).
  16. F. Quinlan, G. Ycas, S. Osterman, and S. A. Diddams, “A 12.5 GHz-spaced optical frequency comb spanning > 400 nm for near-infrared astronomical spectrograph calibration,” Rev. Sci. Instrum.81, 063105 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  17. D. J. Jones, S. A. Diddams, J. K. Ranka, A. Stentz, R. S. Windeler, J. L. Hall, and S. T. Cundiff, “Carrier-envelope phase control of femtosecond mode-locked lasers and direct optical frequency synthesis,” Science288, 635–639 (2000). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  18. M. Hirano, T. Nakanishi, T. Okuno, and M. Onishi, “Silica-based highly nonlinear fibers and their application,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.15, 103–113 (2009). [CrossRef]
  19. T. Sizer, “Increase in laser repetition rate by spectral selection,” IEEE J. Quantum. Electron.25, 97–103 (1989). [CrossRef]
  20. M. S. Kirchner, D. A. Braje, T. M. Fortier, A. M. Weiner, L. Hollberg, and S. A. Diddams, “Generation of 20 GHz, sub-40 fs pulses at 960 nm via repetition-rate multiplication,” Opt. Lett.34, 872–874 (2009). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  21. J. Chen, J. W. Sickler, P. Fendel, E. P. Ippen, F. X. Kärtner, T. Wilken, R. Holzwarth, and T. W. Hänsch, “Generation of low-timing-jitter femtosecond pulse trains with 2 GHz repetition rate via external repetition rate multiplication,” Opt. Lett.33, 959–961 (2008). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  22. T. Okuno, M. Onishi, T. Kashiwada, S. Ishikawa, and M. Nishimura, “Silica-based functional fibers with enhanced nonlinearity and their applications,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron.5, 1385 –1391 (1999). [CrossRef]
  23. G. Chang, C.-H. Li, D. F. Phillips, R. L. Walsworth, and F. X. Kärtner, “Toward a broadband astro-comb: effects of nonlinear spectral broadening in optical fibers,” Opt. Express18, 12736–12747 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  24. T. Steinmetz, T. Wilken, C. Araujo-Hauck, R. Holzwarth, T. Hänsch, and T. Udem, “Fabry-Pérot filter cavities for wide-spaced frequency combs with large spectral bandwidth,” Appl. Phys. B: Lasers Opt.96, 251–256 (2009). [CrossRef]
  25. A. Siegman, Lasers (University Science Books, 1986).
  26. C.-H. Li, A. G. Glenday, A. J. Benedick, G. Chang, L.-J. Chen, C. Cramer, P. Fendel, G. Furesz, F. X. Kärtner, S. Korzennik, D. F. Phillips, D. Sasselov, A. Szentgyorgyi, and R. L. Walsworth, “In-situ determination of astro-comb calibrator lines to better than 10 cm s-1,” Opt. Express18, 13239–13249 (2010). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  27. L. W. Ramsey, J. Barnes, S. L. Redman, H. R. A. Jones, A. Wolszczan, S. Bongiorno, L. Engel, and J. Jenkins, “A Pathfinder instrument for precision radial velocities in the near-infrared,” Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac.120, 887–894 (2008). [CrossRef]
  28. S. L. Redman, G. G. Ycas, R. Terrien, S. Mahadevan, L. W. Ramsey, C. F. Bender, S. N. Osterman, S. A. Diddams, F. Quinlan, J. E. Lawler, and G. Nave, “A high-resolution atlas of uranium-neon in the H band,” Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser.199, 2 (2012). [CrossRef]
  29. J. Baudrand and G. A. H. Walker, “Modal noise in high-resolution, fiber-fed apectra: a study and simple cure,” Publ. Astron. Soc. Pac.113, 851–858 (2001). [CrossRef]
  30. F. Grupp, “The nature of the fiber noise with the foces spectrograph,” Astron. Astrophys.412, 897–902 (2003). [CrossRef]
  31. A. Baranne, D. Queloz, M. Mayor, G. Adrianzyk, G. Knispel, D. Kohler, D. Lacroix, J.-P. Meunier, G. Rimbaud, and A. Vin, “ELODIE: A spectrograph for accurate radial velocity measurements.” Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser.119, 373–390 (1996). [CrossRef]
  32. D. L. Nidever, G. W. Marcy, R. P. Butler, D. A. Fischer, and S. S. Vogt, “Radial velocities for 889 late-type stars,” Astrophys. J., Suppl. Ser.141, 503 (2002). [CrossRef]
  33. F. Bouchy, F. Pepe, and D. Queloz, “Fundamental photon noise limit to radial velocity measurements,” Astron. Astrophys.374, 733–739 (2001). [CrossRef]
  34. S. Mahadevan, L. Ramsey, J. Wright, M. Endl, S. Redman, C. Bender, A. Roy, S. Zonak, N. Troupe, L. Engel, S. Sigurdsson, A. Wolszczan, and B. Zhao, “The habitable zone planet finder,” Proc. SPIE7735, 227 (2010).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited