Parametric spectro-temporal analyzer (PASTA) for real-time optical spectrum observation.
ABSTRACT: Real-time optical spectrum analysis is an essential tool in observing ultrafast phenomena, such as the dynamic monitoring of spectrum evolution. However, conventional method such as optical spectrum analyzers disperse the spectrum in space and allocate it in time sequence by mechanical rotation of a grating, so are incapable of operating at high speed. A more recent method all-optically stretches the spectrum in time domain, but is limited by the allowable input condition. In view of these constraints, here we present a real-time spectrum analyzer called parametric spectro-temporal analyzer (PASTA), which is based on the time-lens focusing mechanism. It achieves a frame rate as high as 100 MHz and accommodates various input conditions. As a proof of concept and also for the first time, we verify its applications in observing the dynamic spectrum of a Fourier domain mode-locked laser, and the spectrum evolution of a laser cavity during its stabilizing process.
Project description:In this paper we describe the Kottamia Faint Imaging Spectro-Polarimeter (KFISP) that has been recently developed and designed to be mounted at the Cassegrain focus of the 1.88 m telescope at Kottamia Astronomical Observatory (KAO), Egypt. The optical design of KFISP is developed such that it can be used in various modes of operation. These are: direct imaging, spectroscopic, polarimetric imaging, and spectro-polarimetric. The KFISP is an all-refractive design to meet the polarimetric requirements and includes a focal reducer with a corrector section, collimator section, parallel beam section (containing various imaging components), and camera section. The corrector section gives an unvignetted Field-of-View of 8ʹ × 8ʹ and the collimator section has a focal length of 305 mm and matches the focal ratio of the input beam. The parallel beam section is 200 mm long and near the middle of it there is an image of the telescope pupil. The camera section includes 5 elements and has a focal length of 154.51 mm which gives an instrument effective final focal ratio of f/6.14 (acting as a telescope focal reducer of 1:2 ratio). The KFISP contains an internal calibration system which hosts the calibration light injection system, an integrating sphere equipped with the required calibration light sources. The opto-mechanical parts of KFISP contain a double-layered carbon fiber strut structure and comprises its subsystems of slit and guider assemblies, filter wheel drawer, grism wheel drawer, polarimetric components cubical box, and CCD camera which is integrated with camera optics. The CCD camera has 2048
Project description:During vocal communication, the spectro-temporal structure of vocalizations conveys important contextual information. Bats excel in the use of sounds for echolocation by meticulous encoding of signals in the temporal domain. We therefore hypothesized that for social communication as well, bats would excel at detecting minute distortions in the spectro-temporal structure of calls. To test this hypothesis, we systematically introduced spectro-temporal distortion to communication calls of Phyllostomus discolor bats. We broke down each call into windows of the same length and randomized the phase spectrum inside each window. The overall degree of spectro-temporal distortion in communication calls increased with window length. Modelling the bat auditory periphery revealed that cochlear mechanisms allow discrimination of fast spectro-temporal envelopes. We evaluated model predictions with experimental psychophysical and neurophysiological data. We first assessed bats' performance in discriminating original versions of calls from increasingly distorted versions of the same calls. We further examined cortical responses to determine additional specializations for call discrimination at the cortical level. Psychophysical and cortical responses concurred with model predictions, revealing discrimination thresholds in the range of 8-15 ms randomization-window length. Our data suggest that specialized cortical areas are not necessary to impart psychophysical resilience to temporal distortion in communication calls.
Project description:Optical pulses are fundamentally defined by their temporal and spectral properties. The ability to control pulse properties allows practitioners to efficiently leverage them for advanced metrology, high speed optical communications and attosecond science. Here, we report 11× temporal compression of 5.8 ps pulses to 0.55 ps using a low power of 13.3 W. The result is accompanied by a significant increase in the pulse peak power by 9.4×. These results represent the strongest temporal compression demonstrated to date on a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) chip. In addition, we report the first demonstration of on-chip spectral compression, 3.0× spectral compression of 480 fs pulses, importantly while preserving the pulse energy. The strong compression achieved at low powers harnesses advanced on-chip device design, and the strong nonlinear properties of backend-CMOS compatible ultra-silicon-rich nitride, which possesses absence of two-photon absorption and 500× larger nonlinear parameter than in stoichiometric silicon nitride waveguides. The demonstrated work introduces an important new paradigm for spectro-temporal compression of optical pulses toward turn-key, on-chip integrated systems for all-optical pulse control.
Project description:The auditory system extracts behaviorally relevant information from acoustic stimuli. The average activity in auditory cortex is known to be sensitive to spectro-temporal patterns in sounds. However, it is not known whether the auditory cortex also processes more abstract features of sounds, which may be more behaviorally relevant than spectro-temporal patterns. Using recordings from three stations of the auditory pathway, the inferior colliculus (IC), the ventral division of the medial geniculate body (MGB) of the thalamus, and the primary auditory cortex (A1) of the cat in response to natural sounds, we compared the amount of information that spikes contained about two aspects of the stimuli: spectro-temporal patterns, and abstract entities present in the same stimuli such as a bird chirp, its echoes, and the ambient noise. IC spikes conveyed on average approximately the same amount of information about spectro-temporal patterns as they conveyed about abstract auditory entities, but A1 and the MGB neurons conveyed on average three times more information about abstract auditory entities than about spectro-temporal patterns. Thus, the majority of neurons in auditory thalamus and cortex coded well the presence of abstract entities in the sounds without containing much information about their spectro-temporal structure, suggesting that they are sensitive to abstract features in these sounds.
Project description:We previously characterized the steady-state spectro-temporal tuning properties of cortical cells with respect to broadband sounds by using sounds with sinusoidal spectro-temporal modulation envelope where spectral density and temporal periodicity were constant over several seconds. However, since speech and other natural sounds have spectro-temporal features that change substantially over milliseconds, we study the dynamics of tuning by using stimuli of constant overall intensity, but alternating between a flat spectro-temporal envelope and a modulated envelope with well defined spectral density and temporal periodicity. This allows us to define the tuning of cortical cells to speech-like and other rapid transitions, on the order of milliseconds, as well as the time evolution of this tuning in response to the appearance of new features in a sound. Responses of 92 cells in AI were analyzed based on the temporal evolution of the following measures of tuning after a rapid transition in the stimulus: center of mass and breadth of tuning; separability and direction selectivity; temporal and spectral asymmetry. We find that tuning center of mass increased in 70% of cells for spectral density and in 68% of cells for temporal periodicity, while roughly half of cells (47%) broadened their tuning, with the other half (53%) sharpening tuning. The majority of cells (73%) were initially not direction selective, as measured by an inseparability index, which had an initial low value that then increased to a higher steady state value. Most cells were characterized by temporal symmetry, while spectral symmetry was initially high and then progressed to low steady-state values (61%). We demonstrate that cortical neurons can be characterized by a lag-dependent modulation transfer function. This characterization, when measured through to steady-state, becomes equivalent to the classical spectro-temporal receptive field.
Project description:Are visual and auditory stimuli processed by similar mechanisms in the human cerebral cortex? Images can be thought of as light energy modulations over two spatial dimensions, and low-level visual areas analyze images by decomposition into spatial frequencies. Similarly, sounds are energy modulations over time and frequency, and they can be identified and discriminated by the content of such modulations. An obvious question is therefore whether human auditory areas, in direct analogy to visual areas, represent the spectro-temporal modulation content of acoustic stimuli. To answer this question, we measured spectro-temporal modulation transfer functions of single voxels in the human auditory cortex with functional magnetic resonance imaging. We presented dynamic ripples, complex broadband stimuli with a drifting sinusoidal spectral envelope. Dynamic ripples are the auditory equivalent of the gratings often used in studies of the visual system. We demonstrate selective tuning to combined spectro-temporal modulations in the primary and secondary auditory cortex. We describe several types of modulation transfer functions, extracting different spectro-temporal features, with a high degree of interaction between spectral and temporal parameters. The overall low-pass modulation rate preference of the cortex matches the modulation content of natural sounds. These results demonstrate that combined spectro-temporal modulations are represented in the human auditory cortex, and suggest that complex signals are decomposed and processed according to their modulation content, the same transformation used by the visual system.
Project description:The organization of postthalamic auditory areas remains unclear in many respects. Using a stimulus based on properties of natural sounds, we mapped spectro-temporal receptive fields (STRFs) of neurons in the primary auditory area field L of unanesthetized zebra finches. Cells were sensitive to only a subset of possible acoustic features: nearly all neurons were narrowly tuned along the spectral dimension, the temporal dimension, or both; broadly tuned and strongly orientation-sensitive cells were rare. At high stimulus intensities, neurons were sensitive to differences in sound energy along their preferred dimension, while at lower intensities, neurons behaved more like simple detectors. Finally, we found a systematic relationship between neurons' STRFs, their electrophysiological properties, and their location in field L input or output layers. These data suggest that spectral and temporal processing are segregated within field L, and provide a unifying account of how field L response properties depend on stimulus intensity.
Project description:Spectro-temporal properties of auditory cortex neurons have been extensively studied with artificial sounds but it is still unclear whether they help in understanding neuronal responses to communication sounds. Here, we directly compared spectro-temporal receptive fields (STRFs) obtained from the same neurons using both artificial stimuli (dynamic moving ripples, DMRs) and natural stimuli (conspecific vocalizations) that were matched in terms of spectral content, average power and modulation spectrum. On a population of auditory cortex neurons exhibiting reliable tuning curves when tested with pure tones, significant STRFs were obtained for 62% of the cells with vocalizations and 68% with DMR. However, for many cells with significant vocalization-derived STRFs (STRF(voc)) and DMR-derived STRFs (STRF(dmr)), the BF, latency, bandwidth and global STRFs shape differed more than what would be predicted by spiking responses simulated by a linear model based on a non-homogenous Poisson process. Moreover STRF(voc) predicted neural responses to vocalizations more accurately than STRF(dmr) predicted neural response to DMRs, despite similar spike-timing reliability for both sets of stimuli. Cortical bursts, which potentially introduce nonlinearities in evoked responses, did not explain the differences between STRF(voc) and STRF(dmr). Altogether, these results suggest that the nonlinearity of auditory cortical responses makes it difficult to predict responses to communication sounds from STRFs computed from artificial stimuli.
Project description:A directional random laser mediated by transverse Anderson localization in a disordered glass optical fiber is reported. Previous demonstrations of random lasers have found limited applications because of their multi-directionality and chaotic fluctuations in the laser emission. The random laser presented in this paper operates in the Anderson localization regime. The disorder induced localized states form isolated local channels that make the output laser beam highly directional and stabilize its spectrum. The strong transverse disorder and longitudinal invariance result in isolated lasing modes with negligible interaction with their surroundings, traveling back and forth in a Fabry-Perot cavity formed by the air-fiber interfaces. It is shown that if a localized input pump is scanned across the disordered fiber input facet, the output laser signal follows the transverse position of the pump. Moreover, a uniformly distributed pump across the input facet of the disordered fiber generates a laser signal with very low spatial coherence that can be of practical importance in many optical platforms including image transport with fiber bundles.
Project description:We demonstrate the use of a compound optical cavity as linear displacement detector, by measuring the thermal motion of a silicon nitride suspended membrane acting as the external mirror of a near-infrared Littrow laser diode. Fluctuations in the laser optical power induced by the membrane vibrations are collected by a photodiode integrated within the laser, and then measured with a spectrum analyzer. The dynamics of the membrane driven by a piezoelectric actuator is investigated as a function of air pressure and actuator displacement in a homodyne configuration. The high Q-factor (~3.4?·?10(4) at 8.3?·?10(-3)?mbar) of the fundamental mechanical mode at ~73?kHz guarantees a detection sensitivity high enough for direct measurement of thermal motion at room temperature (~87?pm RMS). The compound cavity system here introduced can be employed as a table-top, cost-effective linear displacement detector for cavity optomechanics. Furthermore, thanks to the strong optical nonlinearities of the laser compound cavity, these systems open new perspectives in the study of non-Markovian quantum properties at the mesoscale.