An optical resonator has been developed with reconfigurable filter function that has resonant lines that can be shifted precisely and independently from each other, creating any desirable combination of resonant lines. This is achieved by changing the axial distribution of the effective refractive index of the resonator, which shifts the resonant frequency of particular optical modes, leaving all the rest unchanged. A reconfigurable optical filter is part of the remote chemical detector proposed for the Mars mission (Planetary Instrument Definition and Development Program — PIDDP), but it is also useful for photonic communications devices.
This work was done by Lute Maleki, Andrey Matsko, Dmitry Strekalov, and Anatoliy Savchenkov of Caltech for NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
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Refer to NPO-44948, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.