Excellence in Research – Science & Engineering (2011 Highly Commended)

Dragonfly: a photonic based instrument for studying exoplanetary science

Dr Nemanja Jovanovic
Former Research Fellow in Astrophotonics, Department of Physics, Faculty of Science, Macquarie University

The aim of this research project is to develop an instrument to hunt for and study planets around distant stars, known as “Dragonfly”. Unlike other planet hunting instruments Dragonfly uniquely relies on a miniaturised 3D photonic chip and micro-optics to process the signal from the stellar target. We have recently demonstrated for the first time on the Anglo-Australian Telescope, the successful merge between micro-scale photonics with macro-scale telescope infrastructure which paves the way for the development of a new generation of astronomical instrumentation. Such instruments offer numerous benefits for processing stellar light and will lead to many ground-breaking discoveries.

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