Abstract

We report on the interferometric characterization of a pair of 300 m long single-mode non-polarization-maintaining fibers designed for the Optical Hawaiian Array for Nanoradian Astronomy (‘OHANA) project whose goal is to realize a kilometric near-infrared astronomical array by connecting the large telescopes of the Mauna Kea observatory with single-mode fibers. The fluoride glass fibers are operated in the astronomical K band (2.0–2.4 μm) in which their attenuation is low. We have measured very low differential chromatic dispersion, and the wideband fringe visibility is 0.9 if the two fiber arms have the same temperature. The thermal sensitivity of fibers with respect to their interferometric properties has been studied. The differential chromatic dispersion of the fibers is highly sensitive to the temperature difference. On the contrary, the coherent loss due to mismatch of polarization states is not significantly dependent on the temperature difference. Compensation of thermally induced differential dispersion by use of CaF2 glass plates is demonstrated.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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