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First on-sky demonstration of an integrated-photonic nulling interferometer: the GLINT instrument

Norris, Barnaby R. M. and Cvetojevic, Nick and Lagadec, Tiphaine and Jovanovic, Nemanja and Gross, Simon and Arriola, Alexander and Gretzinger, Thomas and Martinod, Marc-Antoine and Guyon, Olivier and Lozi, Julien and Withford, Michael J. and Lawrence, Jon S. and Tuthill, Peter (2020) First on-sky demonstration of an integrated-photonic nulling interferometer: the GLINT instrument. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 491 (3). pp. 4180-4193. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stz3277.

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The 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 ∼10⁻⁴ and successfully determining the angular diameter of stars (via their null-depth measurements) 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.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Norris, Barnaby R. M.0000-0002-8352-7515
Gross, Simon0000-0001-5130-183X
Gretzinger, Thomas0000-0001-5712-5101
Guyon, Olivier0000-0002-1097-9908
Lozi, Julien0000-0002-3047-1845
Additional Information:© 2019 The Author(s) Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( Accepted 2019 November 13. Received 2019 October 25; in original form 2019 August 10. This work was supported by the Australian Research Council Discovery Project DP180103413. It was performed in part at the OptoFab node of the Australian National Fabrication Facility utilizing Commonwealth as well as NSW state government funding. SG acknowledges funding through a Macquarie University Research Fellowship (9201300682) and the Australian Research Council Discovery Programme (DE160100714). NC acknowledges funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement CoG – 683029). The authors acknowledge support from the JSPS (Grant-in-Aid for Research #23340051, #26220704, and #23103002). This work was supported by the Astrobiology Center (ABC) of the National Institutes of Natural Sciences, Japan and the directors contingency fund at the Subaru Telescope. This research was also supported by the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence for Ultrahigh bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems (project number CE110001018). The authors wish to recognize and acknowledge the very significant cultural role and reverence that the summit of Maunakea has always had within the indigenous Hawaiian community. We are most fortunate to have the opportunity to conduct observations from this mountain.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Australian Research CouncilDP180103413
Commonwealth of AustraliaUNSPECIFIED
Macquarie University9201300682
Australian Research CouncilDE160100714
European Research Council (ERC)683029
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)23340051
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)26220704
Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS)23103002
National Institutes of Natural Sciences of JapanUNSPECIFIED
Subaru TelescopeUNSPECIFIED
Australian Research CouncilCE110001018
Subject Keywords:instrumentation: high angular resolution – instrumentation: interferometers – methods: data analysis – techniques: high angular resolution – techniques: interferometric – planets and satellites: detection
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20200228-111609936
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Barnaby 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,
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:101637
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:28 Feb 2020 19:32
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 18:04

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