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A compact and robust method for full Stokes spectropolarimetry



William Sparks, Thomas Germer, John MacKenty, Frans Snik


We present an approach to spectropolarimetry which requires neither moving parts nor time dependent modulation, and which o ers the prospect of achieving high sensitivity. The concept, which is one of those generically known as channeled polarimetry, is to encode the polarization information at each wavelength along the spatial dimension of a 2D data array using static, robust optical components. A single two-dimensional data frame contains the full polarization information and can be configured to measure either two or all of the Stokes polarization parameters. By acquiring full polarimetric information in a single observation, we simplify polarimetry of transient sources and polarimetry in situations where the instrument and target are in relative motion. The robustness and simplicity of the approach, coupled to its potential for high sensitivity, is likely to prove useful for applications in challenging environments such as space.
Applied Optics


astronomy, polarimeter


Sparks, W. , Germer, T. , MacKenty, J. and Snik, F. (2012), A compact and robust method for full Stokes spectropolarimetry, Applied Optics, [online], (Accessed February 22, 2024)
Created July 31, 2012, Updated October 12, 2021