Instruments: Polarimeters

Polarimeters Telescopes Missions

High-precision polarimetry is the experimental basis of our research. Several polarimeters were developed and built under my lead for astrophysical and biophysical studies and applications. They are deployed and operated at a number of telescopes and laboratories world-wide:

DIPOL-2

  • Dual Image Polarimeter: broad-band polarimetry simultaneously in three bands: blue, green, and red;
    achieved polarimetric accuracy 10^-5 for a 10mag star at a 4m telescope and 2x10^-6 for a 4mag star on a 0.6m telescope;
    designed and built in cooperation between KIS and FINCA (Turku University, Finland (Piirola et al. 2014);
  • telescopes: copies of DIPOL-2 are deployed at the KVA60 (La Palma), WHT (La Palma, visiting instrument), UH2.2m (Mauna Kea, visiting instrument), T60 (Haleakala), H80 (Haleakala, from 2016), UTAS130 (Tasmania, from 2016);
  • science: to measure geometrical albedo of exoplanets using polarimetry and characterize their atmosphere and cloud composition.

  • InnoPol+AO

  • Innovative Polarimeter: imaging polarimeter combined with the Hokupa'a-85 curvature Adaptive Optics (AO) system and fast EM CCD;
    wavelength range 550-950nm, FOV 3"x3", image resolution 30mas at 600nm;
    designed and built in cooperation between KIS and IfA/Maui, University of Hawaii, USA (Harrington et al. 2014);
  • telescope: the 3.7m AEOS telescope (Haleakala), currently under final commissioning;
  • science: to search for and characterize planetosimals in protoplanetary disks, to investigate atmospheres of Solar system planetary bodies.

  • GPP+AO

  • GREGOR Planet Polarimeter: an analogue of the InnoPol imaging polarimeter combined with a solar Adaptive Optics (AO), night-time Wave-Front Sensor (WFS), fast EM CCD and FLC polarimetric modulation unit;
    it was built within the HotMol project (Gisler et al. 2016);
  • telescope: GREGOR@night, Tenerife;
  • science: to search for and characterize planetosimals in protoplanetary disks, to investigate atmospheres of Solar system planetary bodies.

  • BioPol

  • Biophysical Polarimeter: a laboratory experiment to measure bidirectional reflection functions in polarized light from biological and non-biological samples;
    two copies are deployed in laboratories at IfA/Maui and KIS (Berdyugina et al. 2016);
  • telescopes: the BioPol concept is developed for the next-generation extremely-large telescopes, such as the Colossus Telescope which will be capable of detecting signatures of both organic life and civilizations (Kuhn & Berdyugina 2015);
  • science: to model polarized spectra of habitable planets and develop a novel approach for remote detection of extraterrestrial life;