Photonic lattices for astronomical interferometry




Regular 2D lattices of evanescently coupled waveguides may provide in the near future photonic components capable of combining interferometrically and simultaneously a large number of telescopes, thus easing the imaging capabilities of optical interferometers. In this paper, the theoretical modelling of the so-called discrete beam combiners (DBCs) is described and compared to the conventional model used for photonic beam combiners for astronomical interferometry. The performance of DBCs as compared to an ideal ABCD beam combiner is discussed and applications to astronomical instrumentation are analysed.