DARKNESS: A Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detector Integral Field Spectrograph for High-contrast Astronomy
We present DARKNESS (the DARK-speckle Near-infrared Energy-resolving Superconducting Spectrophotometer), the first of several planned integral field spectrographs to use optical/near-infrared Microwave Kinetic Inductance Detectors (MKIDs) for high-contrast imaging. The photon counting and simultaneous low-resolution spectroscopy provided by MKIDs will enable real-time speckle control techniques and post-processing speckle suppression at frame rates capable of resolving the atmospheric speckles that currently limit high-contrast imaging from the ground. DARKNESS is now operational behind the PALM-3000 extreme adaptive optics system and the Stellar Double Coronagraph at Palomar Observatory. Here, we describe the motivation, design, and characterization of the instrument, early on-sky results, and future prospects.
Publications of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific
- Pub Date:
- June 2018
- Astrophysics - Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics;
- Astrophysics - Earth and Planetary Astrophysics
- 17 pages, 17 figures. PASP Published