A tilted interference filter in a converging beam
Institute for Solar Physics, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, AlbaNova
2 Stockholm Observatory, Dept. of Astronomy, Stockholm University, AlbaNova University Center, 106 91 Stockholm, Sweden
Accepted: 26 July 2011
Context. Narrow-band interference filters can be tuned toward shorter wavelengths by tilting them from the perpendicular to the optical axis. This can be used as a cheap alternative to real tunable filters, such as Fabry-Pérot interferometers and Lyot filters. At the Swedish 1-meter Solar Telescope, such a setup is used to scan through the blue wing of the Ca ii H line. Because the filter is mounted in a converging beam, the incident angle varies over the pupil, which causes a variation of the transmission over the pupil, different for each wavelength within the passband. This causes broadening of the filter transmission profile and degradation of the image quality.
Aims. We want to characterize the properties of our filter, at normal incidence as well as at different tilt angles. Knowing the broadened profile is important for the interpretation of the solar images. Compensating the images for the degrading effects will improve the resolution and remove one source of image contrast degradation. In particular, we need to solve the latter problem for images that are also compensated for blurring caused by atmospheric turbulence.
Methods. We simulate the process of image formation through a tilted interference filter in order to understand the effects. We test the hypothesis that they are separable from the effects of wavefront aberrations for the purpose of image deconvolution. We measure the filter transmission profile and the degrading PSF from calibration data.
Results. We find that the filter transmission profile differs significantly from the specifications. We demonstrate how to compensate for the image-degrading effects. Because the filter tilt effects indeed appear to be separable from wavefront aberrations in a useful way, this can be done in a final deconvolution, after standard image restoration with Multi-Frame Blind Deconvolution/Phase Diversity based methods. We illustrate the technique with real data.
Key words: instrumentation: interferometers / methods: observational / techniques: image processing / techniques: imaging spectroscopy
© ESO, 2011