9 August 2016 Fusion splicing: a novel approach to fiber connections for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument
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Abstract
The Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument (DESI) is under construction to measure the expansion history of the universe using the Baryon Acoustic Oscillation (BAO) technique and the growth of structure using redshift-space distortions (RSD). The spectra of 40 million galaxies over 14,000 square degrees will be measured during the life of the experiment. A new prime focus corrector for the KPNO Mayall telescope will deliver light to 5000 fiber optic positioners. The fibers will run 50 meters from the focal plane to the coud´e room where they feed ten broadband spectrographs. The focal plane assembly will be integrated separately from the spectrograph slits and long fiber cables in order to ease integration flow, and the two subsystems will be connected before final integration on the telescope. In order to retain maximum throughput and minimize the focal ratio degradation (FRD) when connecting the fiber system, we are employing fusion splicing as opposed to mechanical connectorization. For the best splice performance, the optical fibers are stripped of their polyimide coating, precision cleaved, and then fused with a heating filament. We report results from the splicing process, measuring a collimated FRD increase of less than 0.5 degrees for a f/3.9 input beam compared to >1 degree increase for mechanical connectors. We also show that the near field performance is minimally degraded after splicing. These results represent the first of their kind for a fiber-fed astronomical instrument.
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Parker Fagrelius, Claire Poppett, Jerry Edelstein, "Fusion splicing: a novel approach to fiber connections for the Dark Energy Spectroscopic Instrument", Proc. SPIE 9908, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy VI, 99087Q (9 August 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2231331; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2231331
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