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

Moncelsi, Lorenzo and Ade, Peter A. R. and Angilè, Francesco E. and Benton, Steven J. and Devlin, Mark J. and Fissel, Laura M. and Gandilo, Natalie N. and Gundersen, Joshua O. and Matthews, Tristan G. and Netterfield, C. Barth and Novak, Giles and Nutter, David and Pascale, Enzo and Poidevin, Frédérick and Savini, Giorgio and Scott, Douglas and Soler, Juan Diego and Spencer, Locke D. and Truch, Matthew D. P. and Tucker, Gregory S. and Zhang, Jin (2014) Empirical modelling of the BLASTPol achromatic half-wave plate for precision submillimetre polarimetry. Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, 437 (3). pp. 2772-2789. ISSN 0035-8711. doi:10.1093/mnras/stt2090.

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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.

Item Type:Article
Related URLs:
URLURL TypeDescription Paper
Moncelsi, Lorenzo0000-0002-4242-3015
Ade, Peter A. R.0000-0002-5127-0401
Fissel, Laura M.0000-0002-4666-609X
Novak, Giles0000-0003-1288-2656
Pascale, Enzo0000-0002-3242-8154
Poidevin, Frédérick0000-0002-5391-5568
Scott, Douglas0000-0002-6878-9840
Tucker, Gregory S.0000-0002-6954-6947
Additional Information:© 2013 The Authors. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Royal Astronomical Society. Accepted 2013 October 24. Received 2013 October 22; in original form 2013 August 23. First published online: November 28, 2013. The BLASTPol collaboration acknowledges the support of NASA through grant numbers NAG5-12785, NAG5-13301 and NNGO-6GI11G, the Canadian Space Agency (CSA), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), Canada’s Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC), the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Ontario Innovation Trust, the Puerto Rico Space Grant Consortium, the Fondo Institucional para la Investigacion of the University of Puerto Rico, the National Science Foundation Office of Polar Programs and the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research.
Funding AgencyGrant Number
Canadian Space Agency (CSA)UNSPECIFIED
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)UNSPECIFIED
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC)UNSPECIFIED
Canada Foundation for InnovationUNSPECIFIED
Ontario Innovation TrustUNSPECIFIED
Puerto Rico Space Grant ConsortiumUNSPECIFIED
University of Puerto RicoUNSPECIFIED
Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR)UNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:magnetic fields; polarization; balloons; instrumentation: polarimeters; techniques: polarimetric; submillimetre: ISM
Issue or Number:3
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20140124-104351652
Persistent URL:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:43506
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Jan 2014 20:11
Last Modified:10 Nov 2021 16:38

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