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Performance of a Novel PMMA Polymer Imaging Bundle for Field Acquisition and Wavefront Sensing

  • S. N. Richards (a1) (a2) (a3) (a4), S. Leon-Saval (a1) (a4), M. Goodwin (a2), J. Zheng (a2), J. S. Lawrence (a2), J. J. Bryant (a1) (a2) (a3), J. Bland-Hawthorn (a1) (a4), B. Norris (a1) (a4), N. Cvetojevic (a1) (a2) (a4) (a5) (a6) and A. Argyros (a6)...

Imaging bundles provide a convenient way to translate a spatially coherent image, yet conventional imaging bundles made from silica fibre optics typically remain expensive with large losses due to poor filling factors (~40%). We present the characterisation of a novel polymer imaging bundle made from poly(methyl methacrylate) (PMMA) that is considerably cheaper and a better alternative to silica imaging bundles over short distances (~1 m; from the middle to the edge of a telescope’s focal plane). The large increase in filling factor (92% for the polymer imaging bundle) outweighs the large increase in optical attenuation from using PMMA (1 dB/m) instead of silica (10−3 dB/m). We present and discuss current and possible future multi-object applications of the polymer imaging bundle in the context of astronomical instrumentation including: field acquisition, guiding, wavefront sensing, narrow-band imaging, aperture masking, and speckle imaging. The use of PMMA limits its use in low-light applications (e.g., imaging of galaxies); however, it is possible to fabricate polymer imaging bundles from a range of polymers that are better suited to the desired science.

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Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia
  • ISSN: 1323-3580
  • EISSN: 1448-6083
  • URL: /core/journals/publications-of-the-astronomical-society-of-australia
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