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Proceedings Paper

Development of an efficient photonic device for the reformatting of celestial light
Author(s): D. G. MacLachlan; R. J. Harris; I. Gris-Sánchez; D. Choudhury; T. J. Morris; E. Gendron; A. G. Basden; I. J. Spaleniak; A. Arriola; T. A. Birks; J. R. Allington-Smith; R. R. Thomson
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Paper Abstract

The advent of 30 m class Extremely Large Telescopes will require spectrographs of unprecedented spectral resolution in order to meet ambitious science goals, such as detecting Earth-like exoplanets via the radial velocity technique. The consequent increase in the size of the spectrograph makes it challenging to ensure their optimal environmental stabilization and precise spectral calibration. The multimode optical fibers used to transport light from the telescope focal plane to the separately housed environmentally stabilized spectrograph introduces modal noise. This phenomena manifests as variations in the light pattern at the output of the fiber as the input coupling and/or fiber position changes which degrades the spectrograph line profile, reducing the instrument precision. The photonic lantern is a guided wave transition that efficiently couples a multimode point spread function into an array of single modes. If arranged in a linear array at the input of the spectrograph these single modes can in principle provide a diffraction-limited mode noise free spectra in the dispersion axis. In this paper we describe the fabrication and throughput performance of the hybrid reformatter. This device combines the proven low-loss performance of a multicore fiber-based photonic lantern with an ultrafast laser inscribed three-dimensional waveguide interconnect that performs the reformatting function to a diffraction-limited pseudo-slit. The device provided an in laboratory throughput of 65 ± 2% at 1550 ± 20 nm and an on-sky throughput of 53 ± 4% at 1530 ± 80 nm using the CANARY adaptive optics system at the William Herschel Telescope.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 July 2016
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 9912, Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II, 991227 (22 July 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2232599
Show Author Affiliations
D. G. MacLachlan, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
R. J. Harris, Univ. Durham (United Kingdom)
I. Gris-Sánchez, Univ. of Bath (United Kingdom)
D. Choudhury, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
T. J. Morris, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
E. Gendron, LESIA, Observatoire de Paris (France)
A. G. Basden, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
I. J. Spaleniak, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
A. Arriola, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)
T. A. Birks, Univ. of Bath (United Kingdom)
J. R. Allington-Smith, Durham Univ. (United Kingdom)
R. R. Thomson, Heriot-Watt Univ. (United Kingdom)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9912:
Advances in Optical and Mechanical Technologies for Telescopes and Instrumentation II
Ramón Navarro; James H. Burge, Editor(s)

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