Dual-beam cross-correlation
spectrometer for radial
velocity measurements

Abstract: Measuring the radial velocity of an object can be achieved by quantifying the Doppler shift of Fraunhofer lines. Measurements are typically made using high-resolution conventional spectroscopy, in which the Doppler shift is calculated numerically on a computer. An alternative technique includes cross-correlation spectroscopy, which performs an optical correlation of the incident spectrum against a reference spectrum embedded in the instrument. Many existing correlation spectrometers leverage a chrome mask and obtain a single beam measurement, making the sensors more sensitive to atmospheric turbulence without moving parts. In this paper, we present a static dual-beam polarization-based technique for acquiring cross-correlation spectra that is insensitive to atmospheric turbulence and contains no moving parts. The instrument is based on acquiring light both inside and outside of the solar Fraunhofer lines using a twisted nematic liquid-crystal spatial light modulator. Correlation spectra can be calculated as a ratio of these two components. A model of the dual-beam cross-correlation spectrometer is presented and subsequently validated with experimental observations of Venus. Radial velocity accuracies, as calculated against reference ephemerides, yielded an absolute error less than 0.24%.

M. W. Kudenov and B. Pantalone, “Dual-beam cross-correlation spectrometer for radial velocity measurements,” Appl. Opt., AO 58(33), 9310–9317 (2019).