Photonic Spectrograph

The goal of the project is to optimize and characterize a proto-type photonic spectrograph and to develop a fiber front-end for the system.


The application of photonic technologies, i.e. the propagation and modulation of light in optical fibers and waveguides, in astronomy allows building extremely stable and highly multiplexed instruments at a fraction of the cost and size of conventional instruments.


The student will be in charge of optimizing the opto-mechanical layout, cameras and light sources such as line lamps and fiber-fed lasers of the proto-type system. Furthermore, the student will characterize the photonic spectrograph using state-of-the art data analysis tools. In a second phase of the project, the concept for a fiber front-end, which allows to interface the spectrograph with a telescope, will be developed.


This project provides the opportunity to obtain a deep understanding of single-mode technology, spectroscopy and astronomical instrumentation. The work connects multiple engineering disciplines ranging from optics, electrical and mechanical engineering, as well as physics in general.


Student profile: Knowledge in optics or photonics and an interest in data analysis would be an asset.


Supervisor: Dr. Oliver Pfuhl