SPIRou: ZBLAN and IR fiber technology for the Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope.
SPIROU is a near infrared spectropolarimeter and high precision velocimeter, being constructed as a next- generation instrument for the Canada-France-Hawaii-Telescope (CFHT), and scheduled for operation in 2017. SPIROU’s main scientific objectives are the detection of habitable super-Earths around low-mass stars, and the study of the magnetic topology of primal stars.
SPIROU is being managed by an international consortium led by France and involves, in addition to CFHT, Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, Taiwan and Portugal.
For this project, Le Verre Fluoré is developing highly-purified fluoride fibers offering optical transmission throughout the whole spectral window. The main technical challenges are the development of a hermetic feedthrough, an octagonal core IR fiber and a highly transparent ZBLAN fiber at 980 nm wavelength (<0.013 dB/m).