A method of measuring the spectral properties of broadband waves that combines interferometry with a wavelength disperser having many spectral channels to produce a fringing spectrum. Spectral mapping, Doppler shifts, metrology of angles, distances and secondary effects such as temperature, pressure, and acceleration which change an interferometer cavity length can be measured accurately by a compact instrument using broadband illumination. Broadband illumination avoids the fringe skip ambiguities of monochromatic waves. The interferometer provides arbitrarily high spectral resolution, simple instrument response, compactness, low cost, high field of view and high efficiency. The inclusion of a disperser increases fringe visibility and signal to noise ratio over an interferometer used alone for broadband waves. The fringing spectrum is represented as a wavelength dependent 2-d vector, which describes the fringe amplitude and phase. Vector mathematics such as generalized dot products rapidly computes average broadband phase shifts to high accuracy. A Moire effect between the interferometer's sinusoidal transmission and the illumination heterodynes high resolution spectral detail to low spectral detail, allowing the use of a low resolution disperser. Multiple parallel interferometer cavities of fixed delay allow the instantaneous mapping of a spectrum, with an instrument more compact for the same spectral resolution than a conventional dispersive spectrometer, and not requiring a scanning delay.
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-7405-ENG-48 between the United States Department of Energy and the University of California for the operation of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.