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.

In accordance with Public Law 96-517, the contractor has elected to retain title to this invention. Inquiries concerning rights for its commercial use should be addressed to:

Innovative Technology Assets Management


Mail Stop 202-233

4800 Oak Grove Drive

Pasadena, CA 91109-8099

E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Refer to NPO-44948, volume and number of this NASA Tech Briefs issue, and the page number.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the October, 2008 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

Read more articles from this issue here.

Read more articles from the archives here.