Projects per year
One key advantage of single-mode photonic technologies for interferometric use is their ability to easily scale to an ever-increasing number of inputs without a major increase in the overall device size, compared to traditional bulk optics. This is particularly important for the upcoming extremely large telescope (ELT) generation of telescopes currently under construction. We demonstrate the fabrication and characterization of a hybridized photonic interferometer, with eight simultaneous inputs, forming 28 baselines, which is the largest amount to date, to the best of our knowledge. Using different photonic fabrication technologies, we combine a 3D pupil remapper with a planar eight-port ABCD pairwise beam combiner, along with the injection optics necessary for telescope use, into a single integrated monolithic device. We successfully realized a combined device called Dragonfly, which demonstrates a raw instrumental closure-phase stability down to 0.9° over 8π phase piston error, relating to a detection contrast of ∼6.5×10-4 on an adaptive-optics-corrected 8mtelescope. This prototype successfully demonstrates advanced hybridization and packaging techniques necessary for on-sky use for high-contrast detection at small inner working angles, ideally complementing what can currently be achieved using coronagraphs.