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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: Andrew M. Weiner
  • Vol. 22, Iss. 15 — Jul. 28, 2014
  • pp: 18335–18353

High-performance 3D waveguide architecture for astronomical pupil-remapping interferometry

Barnaby Norris, Nick Cvetojevic, Simon Gross, Nemanja Jovanovic, Paul N. Stewart, Ned Charles, Jon S. Lawrence, Michael J. Withford, and Peter Tuthill  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 22, Issue 15, pp. 18335-18353 (2014)

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The detection and characterization of extra-solar planets is a major theme driving modern astronomy. Direct imaging of exoplanets allows access to a parameter space complementary to other detection methods, and potentially the characterization of exoplanetary atmospheres and surfaces. However achieving the required levels of performance with direct imaging from ground-based telescopes (subject to Earth’s turbulent atmosphere) has been extremely challenging. Here we demonstrate a new generation of photonic pupil-remapping devices which build upon the Dragonfly instrument, a high contrast waveguide-based interferometer. This new generation overcomes problems caused by interference from unguided light and low throughput. Closure phase measurement scatter of only ∼ 0.2° has been achieved, with waveguide throughputs of > 70%. This translates to a maximum contrast-ratio sensitivity between star and planet at 1λ/D (1σ detection) of 5.3 × 10−4 (with a conventional adaptive-optics system) or 1.8 × 10−4 (with ‘extreme-AO’), improving even further when random error is minimized by averaging over multiple exposures. This is an order of magnitude beyond conventional pupil-segmenting interferometry techniques (such as aperture masking), allowing a previously inaccessible part of the star to planet contrast-separation parameter space to be explored.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(120.3180) Instrumentation, measurement, and metrology : Interferometry
(130.0130) Integrated optics : Integrated optics
(350.1260) Other areas of optics : Astronomical optics

ToC Category:
Instrumentation, Measurement, and Metrology

Original Manuscript: May 5, 2014
Revised Manuscript: June 29, 2014
Manuscript Accepted: July 3, 2014
Published: July 22, 2014

Barnaby Norris, Nick Cvetojevic, Simon Gross, Nemanja Jovanovic, Paul N. Stewart, Ned Charles, Jon S. Lawrence, Michael J. Withford, and Peter Tuthill, "High-performance 3D waveguide architecture for astronomical pupil-remapping interferometry," Opt. Express 22, 18335-18353 (2014)

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