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Published July 2020 | Accepted Version + Published
Journal Article Open

Astronomical Applications of Multi-Core Fiber Technology


Optical fibers have altered astronomical instrument design by allowing for a complex, often large instrument to be mounted in a remote and stable location with respect to the telescope. The fibers also enable the possibility to rearrange the signal from a focal plane to form a psuedo-slit at the entrance to a spectrograph, optimizing the detector usage and enabling the study of hundreds of thousands of stars or galaxies simultaneously. Multi-core fibers in particular offer several favorable properties with respect to traditional fibers: 1) the separation between single-mode cores is greatly reduced and highly regular with respect to free standing fibers, 2) they offer a monolithic package with multi-fiber capabilities and 3) they operate at the diffraction limit. These properties have enabled the realization of single component photonic lanterns, highly simplified fiber Bragg gratings, and advanced fiber mode scramblers. In addition, the precise grid of cores has enabled the design of efficient single-mode fiber integral field units for spectroscopy. In this article, we provide an overview of the broad range of applications enabled by multi-core fiber technology in astronomy and outline future areas of development.

Additional Information

© 2020 This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License. For more information, see https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Manuscript received October 2, 2019; revised December 19, 2019; accepted January 27, 2020. Date of publication February 24, 2020; date of current version March 27, 2020. The work of N. Cvetojevic was supported in part by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Program funding from the European Research Council under Grant Agreement CoG- 683029. The work of R. J. Harris was supported in part by the DFG through Project 326946494, "Novel Astronomical Instrumentation through photonic Reformatting" and in part by the European Commission (Fp7 Infrastructures 2012-1, OPTICON) under Grant 312430, WP6.

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Accepted Version - 2002.01573.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 19, 2023