FIRST interferometer - Exploring new photonic technologies for next generation high-contrast imaging instrumentation

lundi 21 janvier 2019, par Nick Cvetojevic (LESIA)

Jeudi 24 janvier 2019 à 16h00 , Lieu : Salle de conférence du bâtiment 17

FIRST (Fibered Imager foR a Single Telescope) is a post-extreme AO instrument module undergoing commissioning at the Subaru Telescope that enables high-contrast imaging at sub-diffraction limit spatial scales. With the aim of increasing the instrument’s stability, sensitivity, and dynamic range, a comprehensive upgrade of FIRST’s interferometric components was undertaken in Meudon, developing a new series of photonic on-chip beam combiners and automated optoelectronic delay lines for rapid phasing of each sub-pupil. Integrated into the new photonic chips are waveguides in crystalline electro-optic material (Lithium niobate) that enable on-chip active phase control of the light at high speeds (up to kHz). This new technology enables unprecedented active control of the starlight (nulling/fringe tracking) to be miniaturised and integrated into the photonics themselves, as well as opening up new avenues of how fringes are obtained. This type of photonic architecture has not been implemented previously for astronomical interferometry and provides FIRST with key advantages over similar instruments, as well as testing the technology for future ELT instrumentation.

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