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Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems • Open Access

Daytime sky polarization calibration limitations
Author(s): David M. Harrington; Jeffrey R. Kuhn; Arturo López Ariste

Paper Abstract

The daytime sky has recently been demonstrated as a useful calibration tool for deriving polarization cross-talk properties of large astronomical telescopes. The Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope and other large telescopes under construction can benefit from precise polarimetric calibration of large mirrors. Several atmospheric phenomena and instrumental errors potentially limit the technique’s accuracy. At the 3.67-m AEOS telescope on Haleakala, we performed a large observing campaign with the HiVIS spectropolarimeter to identify limitations and develop algorithms for extracting consistent calibrations. Effective sampling of the telescope optical configurations and filtering of data for several derived parameters provide robustness to the derived Mueller matrix calibrations. Second-order scattering models of the sky show that this method is relatively insensitive to multiple-scattering in the sky, provided calibration observations are done in regions of high polarization degree. The technique is also insensitive to assumptions about telescope-induced polarization, provided the mirror coatings are highly reflective. Zemax-derived polarization models show agreement between the functional dependence of polarization predictions and the corresponding on-sky calibrations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 January 2017
PDF: 25 pages
J. Ast. Inst. Sys. 3(1) 018001 doi: 10.1117/1.JATIS.3.1.018001
Published in: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems Volume 3, Issue 1
Show Author Affiliations
David M. Harrington, National Solar Observatory (United States)
Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik (Germany)
Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
Jeffrey R. Kuhn, Institute for Astronomy (United States)
Arturo López Ariste, Institut de Recherche en Astrophysique et Planétologie (France)

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