Abstract

An experimental spectroscopic method that allows arbitrary uncertainties of measurement without a priori knowledge of a source emission rate is presented. The method is fully developed using as an example a Fabry-Perot spectrometer examining a line source for Doppler width and shift information. The method consists of measuring a given spectroscopic signal at an arbitrary SNR for all spectral elements and recording the time necessary to attain this condition. The recovery of the original signal from the recorded times and the associated error analysis are given for the Fabry-Perot spectrometer example. The main advantages of this method when compared with the classical equal time sample method are the independence from the source emission rate and fixed arbitrary uncertainties of measurement. These properties have been found very useful in auroral zone measurements, where the emission rate of the source can change considerably over the course of a measurement. The price of these advantages is a slight increase in the uncertainties of determination relative to the classical mode for a given emission rate × time product.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

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