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Proceedings Paper

Modelling the application of integrated photonic spectrographs to astronomy
Author(s): R. J. Harris; J. R. Allington-Smith
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Paper Abstract

One of the well-known problems of producing instruments for Extremely Large Telescopes is that their size (and hence cost) scales rapidly with telescope aperture. To try to break this relation alternative new technologies have been proposed, such as the use of the Integrated Photonic Spectrograph (IPS). Due to their diraction limited nature the IPS is claimed to defeat the harsh scaling law applying to conventional instruments. The problem with astronomical applications is that unlike conventional photonics, they are not usually fed by diraction limited sources. This means in order to retain throughput and spatial information the IPS will require multiple Arrayed Waveguide Gratings (AWGs) and a photonic lantern. We investigate the implications of these extra components on the size of the instrument. We also investigate the potential size advantage of using an IPS as opposed to conventional monolithic optics. To do this, we have constructed toy models of IPS and conventional image sliced spectrographs to calculate the relative instrument sizes and their requirements in terms of numbers of detector pixels. Using these models we can quantify the relative size/cost advantage for dierent types of instrument, by varying dierent parameters e.g. multiplex gain and spectral resolution. This is accompanied by an assessment of the uncertainties in these predictions, which may prove crucial for the planning of future instrumentation for highly-multiplexed spectroscopy.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 September 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8446, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV, 84467J (24 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.926205
Show Author Affiliations
R. J. Harris, Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom)
J. R. Allington-Smith, Univ. of Durham (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8446:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy IV
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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