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Scientific multi user equipment: development and implementation of scientific instrumentation not commercially available : Optical Frequency Combs for Astronomy, Spectroscopy and Telecommunications

Abstract

In this project, we will implement optical frequency combs (OFCs) to be used by the astronomical community and also the spectroscopy, metrology and telecommunication communities. This proposal details the development of these OFCs, the management plan, schedule, and risks. It involves the development of state-of-the-art scientific instrumentation, not commercially available, involving groups at IAG-USP, USP-São Carlos and UNICAMP, along with collaborators at the Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory, University of Colorado and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The proposal has high potential for innovation and technology transfer, including the creation of spin-off companies. The main equipment is an "astrocomb" implemented in the visible (500-600 nm) that will be deployed for testing at the Magellan telescope in Chile with the goal of a future use in the Giant Magellan Telescope (GMT) for calibration of spectrographs used in the the search for exoplanets with terrestrial mass. This will greatly benefit the astronomical community of Sao Paulo and is part of an international collaboration already supported by FAPESP. This astrocomb in the visible will be based on a frequency-converted near-infrared optical frequency comb based on robust optical telecommunication technology. This comb will also be converted to the the mid- and far-infrared/terahertz, to become available at UNICAMP as a multi-user equipment for fast, high-resolution spectroscopy, and as a device for generating and testing low-noise microwaves and for R&D in optical communications and frequency metrology. (AU)

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