Precise radial velocity (PRV) measurements play a critical role in the strategic goal of NASA to find planetary bodies and habitable Earth-like planets. Ground based telescopes currently achieve ~1 m/s single measurement precision. New generation visible PRV systems have demonstrated ~30 cm/s, but in order to reach the sensitivity of 1-10 cm/s, as expressed in the NASA Decadal Survey, advances need to be made in the various components and subsystems of these instruments that lead to space-based systems. Current astrophotonic spectrometers have a limited operational bandwidth of ≤ 200 nm, channel spacing of ≥ 1.5 nm, a limited linewidth of ≥ 0.15 nm. These devices also have large optical loss, relatively large footprints, and require off-chip detection. Lynntech proposes an integrated photonic spectrograph with on-chip photodetection. This device will offer improvements in all the categories above, as well as, on-chip photodetection, multimode input, and spectral filtering. The Phase I project will target a feasibility demonstration of the proposed integrated spectrograph for multimode input, larger operational bandwidth, and spectral filtering. The Phase II project will develop and demonstrate the full resolution device that can be incorporated with large ground-based telescopes and cube-sats.
Lynntech’s integrated photonic spectrograph with on-chip photodetection provides size, weight, and power benefits, as well as, cost savings for the following NASA applications: (1) Large ground-based telescopes, (2) Use in nano-sats and cube-sats, (3) free-space optical telecommunications, and (4) chemical sensing.
The integrated photonic spectrograph with on-chip photodetection can be used in the commercial market in (1) portable sensing applications such as chemical and biological sensing, as well as, spectral characterization of different materials and (2) free-space optical telecommunications.