Highly multiplexed Bragg gratings for large field of view gas sensing in planetary atmospheres


Detecting and monitoring gas species is an important part of remote sensing because the state of the environment can be retrieved from the state of the gas species. This can be used to track temperature and pressure structures in the atmosphere for weather predictions, or monitor the air quality. Discriminating different species is easier at higher spectral resolution when the spectral lines are clearly resolved. The need to do this at high spatial resolution and over large fields of view leads to a trade-off between spectral and spatial resolution and spectral bandwidth. We propose to use a highly multiplexed Bragg grating that can optically combine the relevant information from the spectrum without the need to disperse the whole spectrum. This allows us to circumvent the spatial and spectral trade-off and therefore substantially increase the field of view compared to conventional hyperspectral imagers. A dynamic implementation based on acousto-optical filters that can be adapted on the fly is discussed as an easy and flexible way to create the multiplexed gratings. We describe the details of multiplexed Bragg gratings and show that we can retrieve the spatial distribution of individual species abundances in gas mixtures, and we show that we can even do this for the atmospheres of exoplanets orbiting far-away stars.

Optics Express