Patenting the CHEOPS super stable light source
In the frame of the development of the calibration bench for the CHEOPS payload, the team at the Observatory of Geneva has developed a super stable light source. I.e a light source which power is stabilized to the few parts per million (ppm). We think that this source has potential to interest commercial manufacturers of optical lamps and optical metrology devices and we are seeking funds to pay for the expenses incurred in patenting this invention.
We have invented a device that takes the flux produced by a standard commercial light source and stabilizes it to a 2-6 parts per million (ppm). With respect to the typically 2-5% stability of the lamps used, this represents an improvement of over a factor of 1000. The device is based on 2 key components: a light modulator (i.e. a element that is capable if varying the power of a beam of light) and a reference photometer (an instrument measuring the power of the light). The 2 components work in closed loop, the modulator is modifying the amount of light that our stabilizer lets through, based on the power measured by the reference photometer. The goal is that the power measured on the photometer is constant.
The stabilized source has been developed for the CHEOPS calibration bench. It is already used intensively in the characterization of the CHEOPS detectors. A 2nd exemplar is being produced in the frame of a collaboration that we have started between CHEOPS and TESS.
Publications and Patents
F. P. Wildi, A. Deline, B. Chazelas, “A white super-stable source for the metrology of astronomical photometers”, Proc. SPIE 9605, (2015).