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Proceedings Paper

Far-infrared polarimetry from the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy
Author(s): John E Vaillancourt; David T. Chuss; Richard M. Crutcher; Jessie L. Dotson; C. Darren Dowell; D. Al Harper; Roger H. Hildebrand; Terry J. Jones; Alexandre Lazarian; Giles Novak; Michael W. Werner
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Paper Abstract

Multi-wavelength imaging polarimetry at far-infrared wavelengths has proven to be an excellent tool for studying the physical properties of dust, molecular clouds, and magnetic fields in the interstellar medium. Although these wavelengths are only observable from airborne or space-based platforms, no first-generation instrument for the Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA) is presently designed with polarimetric capabilities. We study several options for upgrading the High-resolution Airborne Wideband Camera (HAWC) to a sensitive FIR polarimeter. HAWC is a 12 × 32 pixel bolometer camera designed to cover the 53−215 μm spectral range in 4 colors, all at diffraction-limited resolution (5−21 arcsec). Upgrade options include: (1) an external set of optics which modulates the polarization state of the incoming radiation before entering the cryostat window; (2) internal polarizing optics; and (3) a replacement of the current detector array with two state-of-the-art superconducting bolometer arrays, an upgrade of the HAWC camera as well as polarimeter. We discuss a range of science studies which will be possible with these upgrades including magnetic fields in star-forming regions and galaxies and the wavelength-dependence of polarization.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 2007
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6678, Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XV, 66780D (26 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.730922
Show Author Affiliations
John E Vaillancourt, California Institute of Technology (United States)
David T. Chuss, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard M. Crutcher, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana (United States)
Jessie L. Dotson, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
C. Darren Dowell, California Institute of Technology (United States)
Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
D. Al Harper, Univ. of Chicago (United States)
Roger H. Hildebrand, Univ. of Chicago (United States)
Terry J. Jones, Univ. of Minnesota (United States)
Alexandre Lazarian, Univ. of Wisconsin (United States)
Giles Novak, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Michael W. Werner, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6678:
Infrared Spaceborne Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XV
Marija Strojnik-Scholl, Editor(s)

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