Astrophotonics for exoplanets
Robert Harris, Ph.D.
Max Planck Institute for Astronomy
As astronomers strive to improve our understanding of the universe, we require ever more precise and versatile instruments. This need is leading to photonic technologies being adapted to astronomy applications which, when correctly used, can significantly enhance current capabilities. In this talk, I will describe the developments in photonic instrumentation in Heidelberg; a tip-tilt sensor for iLocater and an integral field unit designed for exoplanet characterisation (MCIFU). Both of these prototype instruments are small and benefit from being easy to adapt, enabling us to test new techniques as we optimise them for their final versions. I will also describe our future goals, from new device development, to the observation runs aimed at learning about how these technologies perform and how best to optimise them for the future.