Empirical modelling of the BLASTPol achromatic half-wave plate for precision submillimetre polarimetry

Lorenzo Moncelsi, Peter A R Ade, Francesco E. Angilè, Steven J. Benton, Mark J. Devlin, Laura M. Fissel, Natalie N. Gandilo, Joshua Gundersen, Tristan G. Matthews, C. Barth Netterfield, Giles Novak, David Nutter, Enzo Pascale, Fŕed́erick Poidevin, Giorgio Savini, Douglas Scott, Juan Diego Soler, Locke D. Spencer, Matthew D P Truch, Gregory S. TuckerJin Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

13 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A cryogenic achromatic half-wave plate (HWP) for submillimetre astronomical polarimetry has been designed, manufactured, tested and deployed in the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Submillimeter Telescope for Polarimetry (BLASTPol). The design is based on the five-slab Pancharatnam recipe and itworks in thewavelength range 200-600 μm, making it the broadestband HWP built to date at (sub)millimetre wavelengths. The frequency behaviour of the HWP has been fully characterized at room and cryogenic temperatures with incoherent radiation from a polarizing Fourier transform spectrometer. We develop a novel empirical model, complementary to the physical and analytical ones available in the literature, that allows us to recover the HWP Mueller matrix and phase shift as a function of frequency and extrapolated to 4 K. We show that most of the HWP non-idealities can be modelled by quantifying one wavelength-dependent parameter, the position of the HWP equivalent axes, which is then readily implemented in a map-making algorithm. We derive this parameter for a range of spectral signatures of input astronomical sources relevant to BLASTPol, and provide a benchmark example of how our method can yield improved accuracy on measurements of the polarization angle on the sky at submillimetre wavelengths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2772-2789
Number of pages18
JournalMonthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
Volume437
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2014

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polarimetry
apertures
telescopes
modeling
wavelength
astronomical polarimetry
wavelengths
spectral signatures
balloons
cryogenic temperature
Fourier transform
cryogenics
sky
slab
slabs
spectrometer
phase shift
polarization
spectrometers
matrix

Keywords

  • ISM
  • Magnetic fields - polarization - balloons - instrumentation
  • Polarimeters - techniques
  • Polarimetric - submillimetre

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Astronomy and Astrophysics

Cite this

Moncelsi, L., Ade, P. A. R., Angilè, F. E., Benton, S. J., Devlin, M. J., Fissel, L. M., ... Zhang, J. (2014). Empirical modelling of the BLASTPol achromatic half-wave plate for precision submillimetre polarimetry. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 437(3), 2772-2789. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt2090

Empirical modelling of the BLASTPol achromatic half-wave plate for precision submillimetre polarimetry. / Moncelsi, Lorenzo; Ade, Peter A R; Angilè, Francesco E.; Benton, Steven J.; Devlin, Mark J.; Fissel, Laura M.; Gandilo, Natalie N.; Gundersen, Joshua; Matthews, Tristan G.; Netterfield, C. Barth; Novak, Giles; Nutter, David; Pascale, Enzo; Poidevin, Fŕed́erick; Savini, Giorgio; Scott, Douglas; Soler, Juan Diego; Spencer, Locke D.; Truch, Matthew D P; Tucker, Gregory S.; Zhang, Jin.

In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Vol. 437, No. 3, 01.2014, p. 2772-2789.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Moncelsi, L, Ade, PAR, Angilè, FE, Benton, SJ, Devlin, MJ, Fissel, LM, Gandilo, NN, Gundersen, J, Matthews, TG, Netterfield, CB, Novak, G, Nutter, D, Pascale, E, Poidevin, F, Savini, G, Scott, D, Soler, JD, Spencer, LD, Truch, MDP, Tucker, GS & Zhang, J 2014, 'Empirical modelling of the BLASTPol achromatic half-wave plate for precision submillimetre polarimetry', Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, vol. 437, no. 3, pp. 2772-2789. https://doi.org/10.1093/mnras/stt2090
Moncelsi, Lorenzo ; Ade, Peter A R ; Angilè, Francesco E. ; Benton, Steven J. ; Devlin, Mark J. ; Fissel, Laura M. ; Gandilo, Natalie N. ; Gundersen, Joshua ; Matthews, Tristan G. ; Netterfield, C. Barth ; Novak, Giles ; Nutter, David ; Pascale, Enzo ; Poidevin, Fŕed́erick ; Savini, Giorgio ; Scott, Douglas ; Soler, Juan Diego ; Spencer, Locke D. ; Truch, Matthew D P ; Tucker, Gregory S. ; Zhang, Jin. / Empirical modelling of the BLASTPol achromatic half-wave plate for precision submillimetre polarimetry. In: Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. 2014 ; Vol. 437, No. 3. pp. 2772-2789.
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AU - Gandilo, Natalie N.

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AU - Matthews, Tristan G.

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