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WALOP-South: a four-camera one-shot imaging polarimeter for PASIPHAE survey. Paper I—optical design

Maharana, Siddharth and Kypriotakis, John A. and Ramaprakash, Anamparambu N. and Rajarshi, Chaitanya and Anche, Ramya M. and Shrish, Mr. and Blinov, Dmitry and Eriksen, Hans Kristian and Ghosh, Tuhin and Gjerløw, Eirik and Mandarakas, Nikolaos and Panopoulou, Georgia V. and Pavlidou, Vasiliki and Pearson, Timothy J. and Pelgrims, Vincent and Potter, Stephen B. and Readhead, Anthony C. S. and Skalidis, Raphael and Tassis, Konstantinos and Wehus, Ingunn K. (2021) WALOP-South: a four-camera one-shot imaging polarimeter for PASIPHAE survey. Paper I—optical design. Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems, 7 (1). Art. No. 014004. ISSN 2329-4124. doi:10.1117/1.jatis.7.1.014004.

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The Wide-Area Linear Optical Polarimeter (WALOP)-South instrument will be mounted on the 1-m South African Astronomical Observatory telescope in South Africa as part of the Polar-Areas Stellar Imaging Polarization High Accuracy Experiment (PASIPHAE) program to carry out a linear imaging polarization survey of the Galactic polar regions in the optical band. Designed to achieve polarimetric sensitivity of 0.05% across a 35  ×  35  arc min field of view (FOV), it will be capable of measuring the Stokes parameters I, q, and u in a single exposure in the R broadband and narrowband filters between 0.5 to 0.7  μm. For each measurement, four images of the full field corresponding to linear polarization angles of 0 deg, 45 deg, 90 deg, and 135 deg in the instrument coordinate system will be created on four detectors from which the Stokes parameters can be found using differential photometry. In designing the optical system, major challenges included correcting for the dispersion introduced by large split angle Wollaston prisms used as analysers and other aberrations from the entire field to obtain imaging quality point spread function (PSF) at the detector. We present the optical design of the WALOP-South instrument which overcomes these challenges and delivers near seeing limited PSFs for the entire FOV.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Panopoulou, Georgia V.0000-0001-7482-5759
Pavlidou, Vasiliki0000-0002-0870-1368
Pearson, Timothy J.0000-0001-5213-6231
Potter, Stephen B.0000-0002-5956-2249
Readhead, Anthony C. S.0000-0001-9152-961X
Tassis, Konstantinos0000-0002-8831-2038
Additional Information:© 2021 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Paper 20120 received Aug. 11, 2020; accepted for publication Feb. 3, 2021; published online Mar. 9, 2021. The PASIPHAE program is supported by grants from the European Research Council (ERC) under Grant Nos 771282 and 772253, from the National Science Foundation, under Grant No. AST-1611547 and the National Research Foundation of South Africa under the National Equipment Programme. This project is also funded by an infrastructure development grant from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and from the Infosys Foundation. We are thankful to Vinod Vats at Karl Lambrecht Corp. for his inputs and suggestions on various aspects of the polarizer assembly design and fabrication and Prof. Kenneth Nordsieck for sharing his experience and ideas on thermal properties of calcite WPs. We thank the anonymous reviewers of the paper whose comments and suggestions helped improve the paper.
Group:Astronomy Department
Funding AgencyGrant Number
European Research Council (ERC)771282
European Research Council772253
National Research Foundation (South Africa)UNSPECIFIED
Stavros Niarchos FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Infosys FoundationUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:polarization; linear polarimetry; optical polarization; wide-field polarimeter; Wollaston prisms; one-shot polarimetry
Issue or Number:1
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20210315-071146670
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Siddharth Maharana, John A. Kypriotakis, Anamparambu N. Ramaprakash, Chaitanya Rajarshi, Ramya M. Anche, Shrish Shrish, Dmitry Blinov, Hans K. Eriksen, Tuhin Ghosh, Eirik Gjerløw, Nikolaos Mandarakas, Georgia V. Panopoulou, Vasiliki Pavlidou, Timothy J. Pearson, Vincent Pelgrims, Stephen B. Potter, Anthony C. S. Readhead, Raphael Skalidis, Konstantinos Tassis, and Ingunn K. Wehus "WALOP-South: a four-camera one-shot imaging polarimeter for PASIPHAE survey. Paper I—optical design," Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems 7(1), 014004 (9 March 2021).
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:108421
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:19 Mar 2021 02:11
Last Modified:16 Nov 2021 19:11

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