As the desire to look deeper in space and image multiple objects simultaneously continues to grow, the need for larger telescopes is raised. With this increase in aperture size, the instrumentation size is increased proportionally and the cost of this instrumentation is proportionally squared. With advances in photonic technologies this can be accomplished on a fully integrated chip. Integrated photonics have the potential to greatly impact NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) because of the reduced SWaP and cost. Various applications, from sensing to high speed communications, can benefit from integrated photonics. Current astrophotonic spectrometers have a limited operational bandwidth of ≤ 200 nm, channel spacing of ≥ 1.5 nm, and 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 crystal spectrometer 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 spectrometer 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 multi-mode photonic crystal spectrometer 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, and (3) portable sensing of chemicals and biological matter by absorption spectra.
The integrated multi-mode photonic crystal spectrometer with on-chip photodetection can be used in the commercial market in portable sensing applications such as chemical and biological sensing, as well as, spectral characterization of different materials.