In an embodiment, a dual-etalon cavity-ring-down frequency-comb spectrometer system is described. A broad band light source is split into two beams. One beam travels through a first etalon and a sample under test, while the other beam travels through a second etalon, and the two beams are recombined onto a single detector. If the free spectral ranges ("FSR") of the two etalons are not identical, the interference pattern at the detector will consist of a series of beat frequencies. By monitoring these beat frequencies, optical frequencies where light is absorbed may be determined.
STATEMENT REGARDING GOVERNMENT RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
This invention was made with Government support under government contract no. DE-AC04-94AL85000 awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy to Sandia Corporation. The Government has certain rights in the invention, including a paid-up license and the right, in limited circumstances, to require the owner of any patent issuing in this invention to license others on reasonable terms.