Exploring the potential of coherent imaging using photonic lanterns with beam combiners

Yoo Jung Kim, Michael P. Fitzgerald, Jonathan Lin, Steph Sallum, Yinzi Xin, Nemanja Jovanovic, Sergio Leon-Saval, Christopher Betters, Pradip Gatkine, Olivier Guyon, Julien Lozi, Dimitri Mawet, Barnaby Norris, Sebastien Vievard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Photonic Lanterns (PLs) are tapered waveguides that can efficiently couple multi-mode telescope light into a multi-mode fiber entrance at the focal plane and coherently convert it into multiple single-mode beams. Each SMF samples its unique mode (lantern mode) of the telescope light in the pupil, analogous to subapertures in aperture mask interferometry. In this study, we show the concept and potential of coherent imaging with PLs. It can be enabled by interfering SMF outputs and applying path length modulation, which can be achieved using a photonic chip beam combiner at the backend (e.g., the ABCD beam combiner). Using numerically simulated lantern modes of a 6-port PL, we calculate interferometric observables for various input scenes. Our simulated observations suggest that PLs may offer significant benefits in the photon-noise limited regime and for resolving small-scale (< λ/2D) asymmetries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI
EditorsGarreth J. Ruane
ISBN (Electronic)9781510665743
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes
EventTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI 2023 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 21 2023Aug 24 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering


ConferenceTechniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets XI 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • beam combiner
  • coherent imaging
  • high angular resolution
  • interferometry
  • photonic lantern
  • photonics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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