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Proceedings Paper

Development of integrated photonic-dicers for reformatting the point-spread-function of a telescope
Author(s): David G. MacLachlan; Robert Harris; Debaditya Choudhury; Alexander Arriola; Graeme Brown; Jeremy Allington-Smith; Robert R. Thomson
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Paper Abstract

Spectroscopy is a technique of paramount importance to astronomy, as it enables the chemical composition, distances and velocities of celestial objects to be determined. As the diameter of a ground-based telescope increases, the pointspread- function (PSF) becomes increasingly degraded due to atmospheric seeing. A degraded PSF requires a larger spectrograph slit-width for efficient coupling and current spectrographs for large telescopes are already on the metre scale. This presents numerous issues in terms of manufacturability, cost and stability. As proposed in 2010 by Bland-Hawthorn et al, one approach which may help to improve spectrograph stability is a guided wave transition, known as a “photonic-lantern”. These devices enable the low-loss reformatting of a multimode PSF into a diffraction-limited source (in one direction). This pseudo-slit can then be used as the input to a traditional spectrograph operating at the diffraction limit. In essence, this approach may enable the use of diffractionlimited spectrographs on large telescopes without an unacceptable reduction in throughput. We have recently demonstrated that ultrafast laser inscription can be used to realize “integrated” photoniclanterns, by directly writing three-dimensional optical waveguide structures inside a glass substrate. This paper presents our work on developing ultrafast laser inscribed devices capable of reformatting a multimode telescope PSF into a diffraction-limited slit.

Paper Details

Date Published: 18 July 2014
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 9151, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation, 91511W (18 July 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2055904
Show Author Affiliations
David G. MacLachlan, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Robert Harris, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Debaditya Choudhury, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Alexander Arriola, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
Graeme Brown, Optoscribe Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Jeremy Allington-Smith, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
Robert R. Thomson, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9151:
Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation
Ramón Navarro; Colin R. Cunningham; Allison A. Barto, Editor(s)

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