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Durham e-Theses
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Photonic crystal fibres in astronomy

Corbett, Jason CW. (2006) Photonic crystal fibres in astronomy. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



Photonic crystal fibres (PCF) are a new generation of optical fibre that guide light via a periodic air-silica, photonic crystal structure instead of the more traditional step change in refractive index associated with traditional fibre. Careful design of the photonic structure causes the fibres to behave in interesting new ways and one of main aims of this thesis is to begin the investigation of the uses of PCF's in astronomy. Step index and large mode area (LMA) PCF's are introduced in Chapters 2 and 3, respectively. Chapter 4 then deals with the instrumental simplifications associated with the use of LMA PCF'ร in fibre stellar interferometry showing that up to four step index fibres and associated optics can be replaced with a single LMA fibre. One of the key features of LMA fibres, for astronomy, is that, unlike the step index fibre, the mode field size is independent of wavelength and the fibre can therefore be fed with a pupil image via a field lens. Chapter 5 investigates this important new parameter space showing that contiguous sampling using single mode fibres is now possible for the first time. Further, unlike the direct feed to the LMA fibre, maximised coupling over very large wavebands is now possible using just a single fibre. Chapter 6 deals with another new fibre technology in astronomy: Multi-mode fibre (MMF) to single-mode array (SMA) transitions. These fibre systems break out the modes of the multi-mode fibre into an array of single-mode fibres upon which Bragg gratings can be etched. The SMA is then refused into an output MMF resulting in a multimode device but with single-mode line suppression. The number of modes transmitted is numerically equal to the number of fibres in the SMA and the performance of these devices is investigated on a model telescope showing that only a few tens of modes is required to efficiently transmit either the J or н bands. Finally, Chapter 7 details the experimental investigation of fibre modal noise in high dispersion spectroscopy. This is a photometric error on a resolution element due to fibre modes interfering with each other at very high spectral dispersion. Worryingly, the results show that no current theory exists that can predict the performance of a fibre based high R spectrometer.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Thesis Date:2006
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:09 Sep 2011 09:52

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