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# Performance of Standard

Fourier-Transform Spectrometers
(or, more than you probably
transforms, random-signal theory,
and Michelson interferometers)
by Douglas Cohen

## Performance Analysis of Standard Fourier-Transform

Spectrometersof Standard Fourier-Transform Spectrometers
Performance
Copyright @ 2007 by Douglas Cohen
PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,
without the prior permission of the author.

## To Sophie and Phoebe who do not know calculus,

and to Clara who does

CONTENTS
Preface ..........................................................................................................................................vii
1

1.1
1.2
1.3
1.4
1.5
1.6
1.7
1.8

## The First Michelson Interferometer........................................................................ 2

Historical Reasoning Behind the Ether Wind Experiment .................................. 14
Monochromatic Light and Spectral Lines ............................................................ 24
Applying the Michelson Interferometer to Spectral Lines ................................... 24
Interference Equation for the Ideal Michelson Interferometer............................. 31
Fringe Patterns of Finite-Width Spectral Lines.................................................... 51
Fourier-Transform Spectrometers ....................................................................... 52
Laser-Based Control Systems............................................................................... 57

Fourier Theory.................................................................................................................62
2.1
2.2
2.3
2.4
2.5
2.6
2.7
2.8
2.9
2.10
2.11
2.12
2.13
2.14
2.15
2.16
2.17
2.18
2.19
2.20
2.21
2.22
2.23

## Basic Concept of a Fourier Transform ................................................................ 62

Fourier Sine and Cosine Transforms .................................................................... 67
Even, Odd, and Mixed Functions ........................................................................ 76
Extended Sine and Cosine Transforms................................................................. 80
Forward and Inverse Fourier Transforms............................................................. 89
Fourier Transform as a Linear Operator............................................................... 97
Mathematical Symmetries of the Fourier Transform .......................................... 99
Basic Fourier Identities....................................................................................... 103
Fourier Convolution Theorem ............................................................................ 110
Fourier Transforms and Divergent Integrals ...................................................... 117
Generalized Functions ....................................................................................... 121
Generalized Limits ............................................................................................. 132
Fourier Transforms of Generalized Functions ................................................... 136
The Delta Function ............................................................................................ 144
Derivative of the Delta Function ....................................................................... 153
Fourier Transform of the Delta Function ........................................................... 157
Fourier Convolution Theorem with Generalized Functions............................... 159
The Shah Function.............................................................................................. 162
Fourier Transform of the Shah Function ........................................................... 165
Fourier Series...................................................................................................... 173
Discrete Fourier Transform ............................................................................... 181
Aliasing as an Error ........................................................................................... 188
Aliasing as a Tool ............................................................................................... 197
i

2.24
2.25

3.1
3.2
3.3
3.4
3.5
3.6
3.7
3.8
3.9
3.10
3.11
3.12
3.13
3.14
3.15
3.16
3.17
3.18
3.19
3.20
3.21
3.22
3.23
3.24
3.25
3.26
3.27

## Sampling Theorem ............................................................................................. 200

Fourier Transforms in Two and Three Dimensions ........................................... 207
Table 2.1.............................................................................................................. 219
Table 2.2.............................................................................................................. 221

## Random and Nonrandom Variables ...................................................................

Random and Nonrandom Functions...................................................................
Probability Density Distributions: Mean, Variance, Standard Deviation..........
The Expectation Operator ..................................................................................
Independent and Dependent Random Variables ................................................
Analyzing Independent Random Variables ......................................................
Large Numbers of Random Variables ...............................................................
Single-Variable Means from Multivariable Distributions .................................
Analyzing Dependent Random Variables..........................................................
Linearity of the Expectation Operator ..............................................................
The Central Limit Theorem ..............................................................................
Averaging to Improve Experimental Accuracy .................................................
Mean, Autocorrelation, Autocovariance of Random Functions of Time ..........
Ensembles .........................................................................................................
Stationary Random Functions ............................................................................
Gaussian Random Processes ..............................................................................
Products of Two, Three, and Four Jointly Normal Random Variables .............
Ergodic Random Functions................................................................................
Experimental Noise............................................................................................
The Power Spectrum ..........................................................................................
Random Inputs and Outputs of Linear Systems ................................................
The Sign of the Power Spectrum ......................................................................
The Power Spectrum and Fourier Transforms of Random Functions ..............
The Multidimensional Wiener-Khinchin Theorem............................................
Band-Limited White Noise ................................................................................
Even and Odd Components of Random Functions ............................................
Analyzing the Noise in Artificially Created Even Signals ...............................

223
224
226
230
233
233
234
235
236
239
243
247
249
251
252
261
263
272
279
280
282
287
289
297
299
302
319

4.1
4.2
4.3
4.4

## Deriving the Electromagnetic Wave Equations .................................................

Electromagnetic Plane Waves............................................................................
Monochromatic Wave Trains.............................................................................
Linear Polarization of Monochromatic Plane Waves .......................................
ii

330
335
344
349

4.5
Transmitted Plane Waves .................................................................................. 353
4.6
Reflected Plane Waves ...................................................................................... 363
4.7
Polychromatic Wave Fields ............................................................................... 369
4.8
Angle-Wavenumber Transforms ........................................................................ 375
4.9
Beam-Chopped and Direction-Chopped Radiation ........................................... 383
4.10 Time-Chopped and Band-Limited Radiation .................................................... 390
4.11 Top-Level Description of a Standard Michelson Interferometer ....................... 394
4.12 Monochromatic Plane Waves and Michelson Interferometers .......................... 395
4.13 Multiple Plane Waves and Michelson Interferometers ...................................... 416
4.14 Energy Flux of Time-Chopped and Beam-Chopped Radiation Fields .............. 427
4.15 Energy Flux of the Balanced Radiation Fields .................................................. 438
4.16 Simplified Formulas for the Optical Power in the Balanced Signal .................. 454
4.17 Energy Flux in the Unbalanced Radiation Fields .............................................. 464
4.18 Simplified Formulas Describing Unbalanced Background Radiation ............... 483
Appendix 4A .................................................................................................................. 490
Appendix 4B ...................................................................................................................499
Appendix 4C ...................................................................................................................522
Appendix 4D ...................................................................................................................528
Appendix 4E ...................................................................................................................532
Appendix 4F ...................................................................................................................551
5

5.1
5.2
5.3
5.4
5.5
5.6
5.7
5.8
5.9
5.10
5.11
5.12
5.13
5.14
5.15
5.16
5.17
5.18

## Radiometric Description of Electromagnetic Fields .........................................

Radiance, Brightness, and the Inverse-Square Law ..........................................
The Balanced Signal of a Michelson Interferometer..........................................
The Unbalanced Signal of a Michelson Interferometer ....................................
The Off-Axis Signal of a Michelson Interferometer .........................................
The Standard Michelson Interferometer with Central Detector .........................
The Fore and Aft Optics ....................................................................................
The Detector Signal ............................................................................................
The Detector Circuit ..........................................................................................
The Effective Spectrum ......................................................................................
Symmetries of the Interferogram Signal and Effective Spectrum......................
Background Radiation Inside a Standard Michelson Interferometer ................
Removing the Background Spectra ...................................................................
Double-Sided Interferograms .............................................................................
Apodization of Spectra ......................................................................................
The Effect of a Finite Field of View...................................................................
Single-Sided Interferograms...............................................................................
iii

555
566
571
573
585
588
599
605
611
617
622
624
626
640
643
650
656
667

## 5.19 Calibration .........................................................................................................

5.20 Nonflat Optical Surfaces ...................................................................................
5.21 An Example of How to Analyze Nonflat Optical Surfaces ..............................
5.22 Sampling the Interferogram Signal ....................................................................
5.23 Setting Up the Discrete Fourier Transform of the Sampled Signal ...................
5.24 Oversampling the Interferogram ........................................................................
5.25 Undersampling the Interferogram ......................................................................
5.26 Off-Center Sampling of the Interferogram Signal .............................................
Appendix 5A .................................................................................................................
Appendix 5B .................................................................................................................
Appendix 5C .................................................................................................................
6

682
686
692
696
699
704
715
723
727
731
738

## NEdN and Detector Noise............................................................................................. 742

6.1
Definition of NEdN............................................................................................
6.2
6.3
Signal from the Background Radiance ..............................................................
6.4
Inverse Fourier Transform of the Background Radiance...................................
6.5
Background Radiance, Total Error, and Signal Noise .......................................
6.6
Detector Noise....................................................................................................
6.7
1/f Noise in Detectors.........................................................................................
6.8
Avoidable and Unavoidable Noise in Double-Sided Signals ............................
6.9
Passing the Detector Noise Through the Detector Circuit.................................
6.10 Total Detector Noise in Double-Sided Signals ..................................................
6.11 Measuring the Noise-Contaminated Spectrum ..................................................
6.12 Characterizing the Detector Noise .....................................................................
6.13 Detector Noise with a Band-Limited, White-Noise Power Spectrum ...............
6.14 An Example of Simulated Detector Noise in a Double-Sided Signal................
6.15 Photon Noise in Detectors..................................................................................
6.16 Detector-Noise NEdN in Double-Sided Signals ................................................
6.17 Real and Imaginary Parts of the Detector Noise................................................
6.18 Detector Noise in a Single-Sided Signal............................................................
6.19 Uncalibrated Spectra of Single-Sided Signals with Detector Noise .................
6.20 Calibrated Spectra of Single-Sided Signals with Detector Noise ......................
6.21 Detector-Noise NEdN in a Single-Sided Signal ................................................
6.22 Detector Circuit as an Anti-Aliasing Filter ........................................................
Appendix 6A .................................................................................................................
Appendix 6B .................................................................................................................

iv

742
748
752
753
759
763
764
767
769
772
782
792
795
800
806
814
820
821
829
840
844
849
857
861

7.1
7.2
7.3
7.4
7.5
7.6
7.7
7.8
7.9
7.10
7.11
7.12

## Setting Up the Signal Equations.........................................................................

Specifying the Random Misalignment Angle of the Moving Mirror.................
-Based Signal Contaminated by Misalignment Noise ......................................
Misalignment Noise and the Detector Circuit (or Anti-Aliasing Filter) ............
Misalignment Noise in Uncalibrated Spectra of Double-Sided Signals ............
Calibrated Spectra Contaminated by Misalignment Noise ................................
Avoidable and Unavoidable Mirror-Misalignment Noise in -Based Signals...
Avoidable and Unavoidable Mirror-Misalignment Noise in the Signal
Spectrum ............................................................................................................
Power Spectrum of n~ ( 2 ) ....................................................................................
Calculating the Variance of L ........................................................................
Formula for the Misalignment NEdN of Double-Sided Signals ........................
Connection Between pn~(n~ 2) Power Spectrum and the Power Spectra of
~
x , ~y .................................................................................................................

## 7.13 The Shape of the pn~(n~ 2 ) Power Spectrum ............................................................

7.14 The Size of the pn~(n~ 2 ) Power Spectrum ...............................................................
7.15 Simulated Misalignment Noise ..........................................................................
Appendix 7A ..................................................................................................................
Appendix 7B ..................................................................................................................
8

865
867
873
879
882
891
895
898
903
905
909
911
921
927
929
945
948

8.1
8.2
8.3
8.4
8.5
8.6
8.7
8.8
8.9
8.10
8.11

## Noise-Free Signal at the a/D Converter.............................................................. 953

Sampling Noise at the a/D Converter ................................................................. 954
Power Spectrum and Autocorrelation Function of the Sampling Noise ............ 956
Uncalibrated Spectral Signal .............................................................................. 959
Calibrating the Spectral Signal Contaminated by Sampling Noise.................... 964
Random Sampling Error in the Measured Spectrum.......................................... 969
Calculating the NEdN from the Random Sampling Error.................................. 972
Black-Body Spectrum Contaminated by Sampling Noise ................................. 986
Sampling Noise and an Isolated Lorentz Emission Line.................................... 996
Error from Quasi-Static Sampling Noise.......................................................... 1007
Comparing the Sampling-Error, Misalignment, and Detector NEdNs............. 1024

Bibliography .............................................................................................................................1039

PREFACE
Over the past three or four decades, Fourier-transform spectrometers based on Michelson
interferometers have become an ever more popular way to measure spectral radiance, especially
in the infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum. The equations and formulas used to
characterize the performance of these instrumentshow accurate they are and in what ways they
distort measured spectraare usually presented in a very approximate form. It is easy to
understand why this is so: optical imperfections and random disturbances have to interact with
the Fourier transform before they affect the spectral measurement. Although engineering intuition
and simple statistics are often all that is needed to evaluate even the most complicated measuring
system, here they are not enough.
Fortunately the problem is not inherently very difficult, although the knowledge needed to
handle it is spread over the fields of optics, Fourier transforms, and random-signal theory. This
book, after briefly outlining the historical development of the Michelson interferometer, starts off
with an overview of both random signal theory and Fourier transform analysis. Maxwells
equations are then used to introduce the optical concepts required to understand Michelson
interferometers, leading to formulas for the balanced, unbalanced, and off-axis signals. This
analysis includes the effects of misaligned optics, polarized radiation, and nonuniform fields of
view; the formulas derived here contain all the information needed to construct professionalquality computer simulations of these instruments. The typical distortions present in Fouriertransform measurements are thoroughly analyzed, and there are detailed explanations of the
random measurement errors due to imperfect detectors, unsteady optical alignment, background
radiation, and mistakes in sampling the signal.
Many times optical engineers and scientists interested in evaluating the performance of
Fourier-transform spectrometers are faced with an unappealing choice between equations that are
too simple-minded and computer simulations that are too complicated and specific. The
convolution-based formulas presented here occupy the middle ground between these extremes
sophisticated enough to give accurate, dependable answers and simple enough to be evaluated
without much trouble. All derivations are explained at length, making it easy to adapt them to the
nonstandard types of Michelson interferometers not covered here. By the end of the book, the
reader knows how to analyze nonideal Fourier-transform spectrometers operating in an imperfect
world.

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