STAR (Space-time Asymmetry Research) is an experimental satellite that will measure anisotropy in the speed of light to unprecedented resolutions using two orthogonal Fabry- Perot interferometers. In order to achieve the desired level of precision, the optical cavities must have finesse values greater than 100,000. Using two test interferometers, I tested and optimized two different experimental methods for measurement of finesse: full-width half max measurement and cavity ring-down spectroscopy. Although each technique proved valid in its own right, my work suggests that cavity ring-down spectroscopy may be more applicable for the needs of STAR.
Darrow, Michael C.
"Finesse Measurement in Fabry-Perot Interferometers,"
Macalester Journal of Physics and Astronomy:
1, Article 3.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.macalester.edu/mjpa/vol2/iss1/3