Reading today…

Reading today…

First On-Sky Fringes with an Up-Conversion Interferometer Tested on a Telescope Array

P. Darré, R. Baudoin, J.-T. Gomes, N. J. Scott, L. Delage, L. Grossard, J. Sturmann, C. Farrington, F. Reynaud, and T. A. Ten Brummelaar
Phys. Rev. Lett. 117, 233902 – Published 29 November 2016


The Astronomical Light Optical Hybrid Analysis project investigates the combined use of a telescope array interferometer and nonlinear optics to propose a new generation of instruments dedicated to high-resolution imaging for infrared astronomy. The nonlinear process of optical frequency conversion transfers the astronomical light to a shorter wavelength domain. Here, we report on the first fringes obtained on the sky with the prototype operated at 1.55μm in the astronomical H band and implemented on the Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy telescope array. This seminal result allows us to foresee a future extension to the challenging midinfrared spectral domain.

This is quite interesting as an application of photon up-conversion at low-light levels – in this case for interferometric IR telescope arrays.  The demo in the paper doesn’t show any improvement on the existing configuration (i.e. no non-linear optical step), but in principle could: once one factors in not just lossy detection in the IR, but also lossy beam transport (in the conceptually similar VLTI system it’s about 10% efficient).

The header image shows fig. 1 from the paper.

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