??At first I thought HUH
?? Lamp?? Why does TES need a lamp? It's a spectrometer! But after much searching I found this
page which says "The interferometer includes a visible interferometer that is used to generate fringes which are used to control the linear drive servo and to determine position in the interferogram. This system uses two redundant neon lamps that produce an emission line at 703.2 nm for fringe generation and a continuum that is used for a quasi-white-light source for determination of zero path difference. The off-axis position of the six detectors results in self-apodization and a spectral shift that is a function of both distance from the axis and optical frequency." ohhhh now I see.
After more searching I found this:
photo of the lamp they used. It's just a little neon indicator lamp! They've been using the backup lamp since the original lamp failed way back in 1998! These things fail all the time in those little red switches in power strips and, well practically everywhere I see them used they inevitalbly start blinking and flickering after being used for any length of time. I bet they didn't use a DC to AC inverter to power it because of space and power issues and just used the DC power of MGS to light it instead. Using DC power on those things reduces thier life greatly for some reason....
oh well, it had a good run!