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\begin{figure}\begin{center}\BoxedEPSF{Ghosts.epsf scaled 600}\end{center}\end{figure}

If the sampling of an interferogram is modulated at a definite frequency instead of being uniformly sampled, spurious spectral features called ``ghosts'' are produced (Brault 1985). Periodic ruling or sampling errors introduce a modulation superposed on top of the expected fringe pattern due to uniform stage translation. Because modulation is a multiplicative process, spurious features are generated in spectral space at the sum and difference of the true fringe and ghost fringe frequencies, thus throwing power out of its spectral band.

Ghosts are copies of the actual spectrum, but appear at reduced strength. The above shows the power spectrum for a pure sinusoidal signal sampled by translating a Fourier transform spectrometer mirror at constant speed. The small blips on either side of the main peaks are ghosts.

In order for a ghost to appear, the process producing it must exist for most of the interferogram. However, if the ruling errors are not truly sinusoidal but vary across the length of the screw, a longer travel path can reduce their effect.

See also Jitter


Brault, J. W. ``Fourier Transform Spectroscopy.'' In High Resolution in Astronomy: 15th Advanced Course of the Swiss Society of Astronomy and Astrophysics (Ed. A. Benz, M. Huber, and M. Mayor). Geneva Observatory, Sauverny, Switzerland, 1985.

© 1996-9 Eric W. Weisstein