Abstract

The absolute group refractive index of air at 194061.02 GHz is measured in real time using frequency-sweeping interferometry calibrated by an optical frequency comb. The group refractive index of air is calculated from the calibration peaks of the laser frequency variation and the interference signal of the two beams passing through the inner and outer regions of a vacuum cell when the frequency of a tunable external cavity diode laser is scanned. We continuously measure the refractive index of air for 2 h, which shows that the difference between measured results and Ciddor’s equation is less than 9.6×108, and the standard deviation of that difference is 5.9×108. The relative uncertainty of the measured refractive index of air is estimated to be 8.6×108. The data update rate is 0.2 Hz, making it applicable under conditions in which air refractive index fluctuates fast.

© 2017 Optical Society of America

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