The matched tandem etalon camera (MATEC) offers the high resolution of the Fabry-Perot interferometer combined with the separate advantages of a flexible image format and photon array detection. In certain applications involving complex or continuum spectra, the simultaneous detection of data over a wide spectral and spatial range can result in a large increase in effective data-taking speed over that obtainable by scanning the same range. In this new type of tandem etalon device, an intercalated field lens, whose spacing and power are both critical, allows a dielectric interference filter to isolate the same order of an airspaced Fabry-Perot at all angles of transmission. In the MATEC the field of view is imaged on a photon array detector to provide simultaneous detection of all throughput wavelengths. In a system applied to auroral measurements known as the meridian etalon camera (MEC), the MATEC views a semiconical sky mirror to provide a simultaneous dimension of spatial resolution in the N-S meridian combined with the dimension of spectral resolution. Stellar features and cloud and ground reflections are much more easily identified in the MEC format than by any scanning photometer.
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