Title

Design and implementation of an optical spectrum analyzer

Presenter Information

Adam Powell

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC 140

Start Date

16-5-2013

End Date

16-5-2013

Abstract

The goal of this project was to design and construct an optical spectrum analyzer based on one that was characterized in a 1997 article in the American Journal of Physics. An optical spectrum analyzer (OSA) is an instrument that measures the frequencies of light present in lasers and other sources of light. The OSA built for this project is based on a spherical mirror scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer. Any Fabry-Perot interferometer has limited resolution of frequencies. The application of a spherical mirror in this design increases the resolution of the instrument compared to a simple Fabry-Perot interferometer, resulting in more precise measurements of the frequencies composing a light source. Setup of the OSA required the design and fabrication of an electrically insulated mount for a piezoelectric (PZT) actuator, a photodiode circuit, and a LabVIEW VI for controlling the system and collecting data. The displacement properties of the designed mount and PZT were characterized using a Michelson interferometer configuration. The results from the Michelson interferometer configuration showed that the PZT actuator and mount were not performing as expected. Testing of a different PZT stack and mount was found to perform as expected based on specifications from the PZT stack manufacturer. The new PZT stack was used in the Michelson interferometer to collect data from two lasers to characterize and calibrate the displacement generated by the PZT stack. Full characterization and calibration of the OSA is currently ongoing.

Faculty Mentor(s)

Michael Braunstein, Michael Jackson

Additional Mentoring Department

Physics

Additional Mentoring Department

Physics

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May 16th, 12:20 PM May 16th, 12:40 PM

Design and implementation of an optical spectrum analyzer

SURC 140

The goal of this project was to design and construct an optical spectrum analyzer based on one that was characterized in a 1997 article in the American Journal of Physics. An optical spectrum analyzer (OSA) is an instrument that measures the frequencies of light present in lasers and other sources of light. The OSA built for this project is based on a spherical mirror scanning Fabry-Perot interferometer. Any Fabry-Perot interferometer has limited resolution of frequencies. The application of a spherical mirror in this design increases the resolution of the instrument compared to a simple Fabry-Perot interferometer, resulting in more precise measurements of the frequencies composing a light source. Setup of the OSA required the design and fabrication of an electrically insulated mount for a piezoelectric (PZT) actuator, a photodiode circuit, and a LabVIEW VI for controlling the system and collecting data. The displacement properties of the designed mount and PZT were characterized using a Michelson interferometer configuration. The results from the Michelson interferometer configuration showed that the PZT actuator and mount were not performing as expected. Testing of a different PZT stack and mount was found to perform as expected based on specifications from the PZT stack manufacturer. The new PZT stack was used in the Michelson interferometer to collect data from two lasers to characterize and calibrate the displacement generated by the PZT stack. Full characterization and calibration of the OSA is currently ongoing.