2023 Astrophotonics Roadmap: pathways to realizing multi-functional integrated astrophotonic instruments

Nemanja Jovanovic*, Pradip Gatkine*, Narsireddy Anugu, Rodrigo Amezcua-Correa, Ritoban Basu Thakur, Charles Beichman, Chad F. Bender, Akira Endo, Sherif Soliman, More Authors

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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Photonic technologies offer numerous functionalities that can be used to realize astrophotonic instruments. The most spectacular example to date is the ESO Gravity instrument at the Very Large Telescope in Chile that combines the light-gathering power of four 8 m telescopes through a complex photonic interferometer. Fully integrated astrophotonic devices stand to offer critical advantages for instrument development, including extreme miniaturization when operating at the diffraction-limit, as well as integration, superior thermal and mechanical stabilization owing to the small footprint, and high replicability offering significant cost savings. Numerous astrophotonic technologies have been developed to address shortcomings of conventional instruments to date, including for example the development of photonic lanterns to convert from multimode inputs to single mode outputs, complex aperiodic fiber Bragg gratings to filter OH emission from the atmosphere, complex beam combiners to enable long baseline interferometry with for example, ESO Gravity, and laser frequency combs for high precision spectral calibration of spectrometers. Despite these successes, the facility implementation of photonic solutions in astronomical instrumentation is currently limited because of (1) low throughputs from coupling to fibers, coupling fibers to chips, propagation and bend losses, device losses, etc, (2) difficulties with scaling to large channel count devices needed for large bandwidths and high resolutions, and (3) efficient integration of photonics with detectors, to name a few. In this roadmap, we identify 24 key areas that need further development. We outline the challenges and advances needed across those areas covering design tools, simulation capabilities, fabrication processes, the need for entirely new components, integration and hybridization and the characterization of devices. To realize these advances the astrophotonics community will have to work cooperatively with industrial partners who have more advanced manufacturing capabilities. With the advances described herein, multi-functional integrated instruments will be realized leading to novel observing capabilities for both ground and space based platforms, enabling new scientific studies and discoveries.

Original languageEnglish
Article number042501
Number of pages127
JournalJPhys Photonics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2023


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program under Grant No. DGE-2034835. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation. This work was also supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 2109232


  • astrophotonics
  • detectors
  • hybridization
  • integration
  • lanterns
  • PICs
  • spectrograph


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