Starlight coupling through atmospheric turbulence into few-mode fibres and photonic lanterns in the presence of partial adaptive optics correction
Diab, M.; Dinkelaker, A.N.; Davenport, J.; Madhav, K.; and Roth, M.M.
Starlight corrupted by atmospheric turbulence cannot couple efficiently into astronomical instruments based on integrated optics as they require light of high spatial coherence to couple into their single-mode waveguides. Low-order adaptive optics in combination with photonic lanterns offer a practical approach to achieve efficient coupling into multiplexed astrophotonic devices. We investigate, aided by simulations and an experimental testbed, the trade-off between the degrees of freedom of the adaptive optics system and those of the input waveguide of an integrated optic component leading to a cost-effective hybrid system that achieves a signal-to-noise ratio higher than a standalone device fed by a single-mode fiber.