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Acousto-Optical Spectrometers: a Current State and Prospects


O.A. Golosovskiy, V.V. Rozdobudko

One of the most important modern applications of acousto-optical methods is space and atmospheric spectrometry. The demand indicator of acousto-optical methods is their wide use in radio astronomy observatories of all base types: land, airplane, space and also in the systems of atmospheric monitoring in many countries of the world. However, there is very few information about foreign achievements in this sphere in domestic periodical press. The purpose of the work is to make up a deficiency in the area available through the Internet. The use of acousto-optical technology is more successful in radio astronomy of millimeter and submillimeter wavelengths. In these ranges more than a half of all popular sources types of space radiation are in the field of preferred use of acousto-optical spectrometers. In the sphere of atmospheric monitoring the demands made to spectrometers are almost coincide with the demands of radio astronomical problems. The most popular problems are problems of altitude profile restoration of ozone and ozone depletion components of atmosphere. At the land base the carrier frequency choice of spectrometers is stipulated by location of the atmospheric region windows what constrains serious limitations on abilities to analyze. That is why, the tendency of the last decades is the output of observatories on satellite orbits. Alongside with it, the operating characteristics of devices such as weight and size characteristics, power consumption, vibration resistance, stability and lifetime are of paramount importance today. According to the bulk of the named parameters, acousto-optical spectrometers had no equal. This fact stipulates their wide use in aerospace projects from 90s till the present time. In 80s acousto-optical spectrometers (AOS) have been wide used in radio astronomy observatories of land base. The work contains a table with information about acousto-optical spectrometers of land base for 30 years. From the end of 80s the period of acousto-optical spectrometers use in observatories of airplane base has begun. From the second half of 90s acousto-optical spectrometers are beginning to be used in space projects. The work contains information about on-board AOS of airplane base and popular AOS of space qualification. The current state of development of acousto-optical spectrometry is examined on examples of two developments: acousto-optical spectrometer used as end portion of superconducting device of limb probing of radiation of submillimeter waves (SMILES), located on the board of Japanese experiment module (JEM) of International space sta-tion (ISS) and launched to orbit in September 2009: AOS for space observatory Herschel assigned to investigate the space in distant infrared, submillimeter and millimeter wave bands. It was launced to the orbit in May 2009. Now a new generational shift of AOS is happening. It is connected with appearance of the new element base – acousto-optical cell from rutile with 3-4 HHz band and 1MHz resolution. On the base of this cell the research group of Cologne University developed AOS of the new generation. The work contains the description of this spectrometer. Conclusion contains the lag reasons of domestic applied science in the sphere of acousto-optical spectrometry and devices of space qualification. Authors believe that this lag is to be eliminated in the prospects of development of space technologies.
May 29, 2020

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