Journal Article

Astrophotonic spectroscopy: defining the potential advantage

Jeremy Allington-Smith and Joss Bland-Hawthorn

in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society

Published on behalf of The Royal Astronomical Society

Volume 404, issue 1, pages 232-238
Published in print May 2010 | ISSN: 0035-8711
Published online April 2010 | e-ISSN: 1365-2966 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2966.2009.16173.x
Astrophotonic spectroscopy: defining the potential advantage

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A photonic spectrograph can be much smaller than a conventional spectrograph with the same resolving power. Individual devices can be integrated with optical fibres to improve the multiplex gain in astronomical spectroscopy. Although experimental devices have been tested, the parameter space where integrated photonic spectrographs offer significant advantage over traditional methods has not been defined. This paper gives an overview of the theory with verification by direct simulation using Fresnel propagation and quantifies the benefit for representative spectroscopic capabilities. We thereby confirm the advantage of photonic spectrographs, especially to the next generation of extremely large telescopes, and conclude that these devices may be important for the future development of astronomical instrumentation.

Keywords: instrumentation: miscellaneous; instrumentation: spectrographs; techniques: spectroscopic

Journal Article.  3760 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Astronomy and Astrophysics

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