First on-sky demonstration of an integrated-photonic nulling interferometer: the GLINT instrument
AuthorNorris, Barnaby R M
Withford, Michael J
Lawrence, Jon S
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Steward Observ
Keywordsinstrumentation: high angular resolution
methods: data analysis
techniques: high angular resolution
planets and satellites: detection
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherOXFORD UNIV PRESS
CitationBarnaby R M Norris, Nick Cvetojevic, Tiphaine Lagadec, Nemanja Jovanovic, Simon Gross, Alexander Arriola, Thomas Gretzinger, Marc-Antoine Martinod, Olivier Guyon, Julien Lozi, Michael J Withford, Jon S Lawrence, Peter Tuthill, First on-sky demonstration of an integrated-photonic nulling interferometer: the GLINT instrument, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 491, Issue 3, January 2020, Pages 4180–4193, https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stz3277
RightsCopyright © 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society.
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AbstractThe characterization of exoplanets is critical to understanding planet diversity and formation, their atmospheric composition, and the potential for life. This endeavour is greatly enhanced when light from the planet can be spatially separated from that of the host star. One potential method is nulling interferometry, where the contaminating starlight is removed via destructive interference. The GLINT instrument is a photonic nulling interferometer with novel capabilities that has now been demonstrated in on-sky testing. The instrument fragments the telescope pupil into sub-apertures that are injected into waveguides within a single-mode photonic chip. Here, all requisite beam splitting, routing, and recombination are performed using integrated photonic components. We describe the design, construction, and laboratory testing of our GLINT pathfinder instrument. We then demonstrate the efficacy of this method on sky at the Subaru Telescope, achieving a null-depth precision on sky of similar to 10(-4) and successfully determining the angular diameter of stars (via their null-depthmeasurements) to milliarcsecond accuracy. A statistical method for analysing such data is described, along with an outline of the next steps required to deploy this technique for cutting-edge science.
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