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Polarimetry with the Gemini Planet Imager: Instrument Characterization and Future Science

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 January 2014

Max Millar-Blanchaer
Affiliation:
Dept of Astronomy and Astrophysics, University of Toronto, ON, M5S 3H4, Canada email: maxmb@astro.utoronto.ca
Sloane J. Wiktorowicz
Affiliation:
Astronomy and Astrophysics Dept., University of California at Santa Cruz, CA, 95064, USA
Marshall D. Perrin
Affiliation:
Space Telescope Science Institute, Baltimore, MD, 21218, USA
James R. Graham
Affiliation:
Astronomy Department, University California at Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA
Sandrine J. Thomas
Affiliation:
NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA 94035, United States
Daren Dillon
Affiliation:
UC Observatories, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA, 95064, USA
Michael P. Fitzgerald
Affiliation:
Department of Physics & Astronomy, University of California, Los Angeles, CA, 90095, USA
Jérome Maire
Affiliation:
Dunlap Institute for Astronomy & Astrophysics, University of Toronto, ON, M5S 3H4, Canada
Bruce Macintosh
Affiliation:
Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, CA, 94551, USA
Stephen J. Goodsell
Affiliation:
Gemini Observatory, Hilo, Hawaii, 96720, USA
Corresponding
E-mail address:
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Abstract

The Gemini Planet Imager (GPI) is a high contrast coronagraph designed to directly image exoplanets and circumstellar disks. GPI includes a polarimetry mode designed to characterize dust grains and enhance the contrast of scattered, polarized light by a factor of 100. Reflections and birefringence of optics within the optical train induce a polarization signature that needs to be measured a priori and calibrated out during data reduction. Here we report on the results of an extensive laboratory characterization campaign of the polarimetry mode. The linear instrumental polarization has been measured in 4 GPI passbands and found to be between 3.5 ± 0.3 % at 1.0 micron and 1.1 ± 0.3 % at 2.0 microns. Modulation efficiency has been measured to be 94% at 1.0 micron increasing to 97% at 2.0 microns. Stability has been shown to better than 0.6% over timescales of ~ 3 months and over cool down cycles. The tests show that GPI passes all polarimetry design requirements and should be able to measure circumstellar disk linear polarization to 1% accuracy.

Type
Contributed Papers
Copyright
Copyright © International Astronomical Union 2013 

References

Graham, J. R., Kalas, P. G., & Matthews, B. C. 2007, ApJ, 654, 595CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Lagrange, A.-M., Gratadour, D., Chauvin, G., et al. 2009, A&A, 493, L21Google Scholar
Macintosh, B. A., Graham, J. R., Palmer, D. W., et al. 2008, SPIE, 7014, 31Google Scholar
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Perrin, M. D., Graham, J. R., Larkin, J. E., et al. 2010, SPIE, 7736, 192Google Scholar
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