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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 19, Iss. 3 — Jan. 31, 2011
  • pp: 2649–2661

Hexabundles: imaging fiber arrays for low-light astronomical applications

Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Julia Bryant, Gordon Robertson, Peter Gillingham, John O’Byrne, Gerald Cecil, Roger Haynes, Scott Croom, Simon Ellis, Martin Maack, Peter Skovgaard, and Danny Noordegraaf  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 19, Issue 3, pp. 2649-2661 (2011)

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We demonstrate a novel imaging fiber bundle (“hexabundle”) that is suitable for low-light applications in astronomy. The most successful survey instruments at optical-infrared wavelengths use hundreds to thousands of multimode fibers fed to one or more spectrographs. Since most celestial sources are spatially extended on the celestial sphere, a hexabundle provides spectroscopic information at many distinct locations across the source. We discuss two varieties of hexabundles: (i) lightly fused, closely packed, circular cores; (ii) heavily fused non-circular cores with higher fill fractions. In both cases, we find the important result that the cladding can be reduced to ~2μm over the short fuse length, well below the conventional ~10λ thickness employed more generally, with a consequent gain in fill factor. Over the coming decade, it is to be expected that fiber-based instruments will be upgraded with hexabundles in order to increase the spatial multiplex capability by two or more orders of magnitude.

© 2011 OSA

OCIS Codes
(000.2170) General : Equipment and techniques
(060.2430) Fiber optics and optical communications : Fibers, single-mode

ToC Category:
Fiber Optics and Optical Communications

Original Manuscript: September 7, 2010
Revised Manuscript: January 13, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: January 19, 2011
Published: January 27, 2011

Joss Bland-Hawthorn, Julia Bryant, Gordon Robertson, Peter Gillingham, John O’Byrne, Gerald Cecil, Roger Haynes, Scott Croom, Simon Ellis, Martin Maack, Peter Skovgaard, and Danny Noordegraaf, "Hexabundles: imaging fiber arrays for low-light astronomical applications," Opt. Express 19, 2649-2661 (2011)

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