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Proceedings Paper

HAWCPol: a first-generation far-infrared polarimeter for SOFIA
Author(s): C. Darren Dowell; Brant T. Cook; D. Al Harper; Lung-Sheng Lin; Leslie W. Looney; Giles Novak; Ian Stephens; Marc Berthoud; David T. Chuss; Richard M. Crutcher; Jessie L. Dotson; Roger H. Hildebrand; Martin Houde; Terry J. Jones; Megan Krejny; Alexandre Lazarian; S. Harvey Moseley; Kostas Tassis; John E. Vaillancourt; Michael W. Werner
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Paper Abstract

We describe our ongoing project to build a far-infrared polarimeter for the HAWC instrument on SOFIA. Far-IR polarimetry reveals unique information about magnetic fields in dusty molecular clouds and is an important tool for understanding star formation and cloud evolution. SOFIA provides flexible access to the infrared as well as good sensitivity to and angular resolution of continuum emission from molecular clouds. We are making progress toward outfitting HAWC, a first-generation SOFIA camera, with a four-band polarimeter covering 50 to 220 microns wavelength. We have chosen a conservative design which uses quartz half-wave plates continuously rotating at ~0.5 Hz, ball bearing suspensions, fixed wire-grid polarizers, and cryogenic motors. Design challenges are to fit the polarimeter into a volume that did not originally envision one, to minimize the heating of the cryogenic optics, and to produce negligible interference in the detector system. Here we describe the performance of the polarimeter measured at cryogenic temperature as well as the basic method we intend for data analysis. We are on track for delivering this instrument early in the operating lifetime of SOFIA.

Paper Details

Date Published: 21 July 2010
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77356H (21 July 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.857842
Show Author Affiliations
C. Darren Dowell, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Brant T. Cook, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
D. Al Harper, The Univ. of Chicago (United States)
Lung-Sheng Lin, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
Leslie W. Looney, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)
Giles Novak, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
Ian Stephens, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)
Marc Berthoud, The Univ. of Chicago (United States)
David T. Chuss, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Richard M. Crutcher, Univ. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (United States)
Jessie L. Dotson, NASA Ames Research Ctr. (United States)
Roger H. Hildebrand, The Univ. of Chicago (United States)
Martin Houde, Univ. of Western Ontario (Canada)
Terry J. Jones, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities (United States)
Megan Krejny, Univ. of Minnesota, Twin Cities (United States)
Alexandre Lazarian, Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison (United States)
S. Harvey Moseley, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Kostas Tassis, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)
John E. Vaillancourt, SOFIA / Universities Space Research Association (United States)
Michael W. Werner, Jet Propulsion Lab. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7735:
Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III
Ian S. McLean; Suzanne K. Ramsay; Hideki Takami, Editor(s)

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