EDP Sciences
Free access
Volume 420, Number 2, June III 2004
Page(s) 437 - 445
Section Cosmology (including clusters of galaxies)
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1051/0004-6361:20035601

A&A 420, 437-445 (2004)
DOI: 10.1051/0004-6361:20035601

Antenna instrumental polarization and its effects on E- and B-modes for CMBP observations

E. Carretti1, S. Cortiglioni1, C. Sbarra1 and R. Tascone2

1  IASF/CNR Bologna, via Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
2  IEIIT/CNR Torino, C.so Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy

(Received 30 October 2003 / Accepted 18 March 2004 )

We analyze the instrumental polarization generated by the antenna system (optics and feed horn) due to the unpolarized sky emission. Our equations show that it is given by the convolution of the unpolarized emission map  $T_{\rm b}(\theta, \phi)$ with a sort of instrumental polarization beam $\Pi$ defined by the co- and cross-polar patterns of the antenna. This result is general, it can be applied to all antenna systems and is valid for all schemes to detect polarization, like correlation and differential polarimeters. The axisymmetric case is attractive: it generates an E-mode-like $\Pi$ pattern, the contamination does not depend on the scanning strategy and the instrumental polarization map does not have B-mode contamination, making axisymmetric systems suitable to detect the faint B-mode signal of the Cosmic Microwave Background Polarization. The E-mode of the contamination only affects the FWHM scales leaving the larger ones significantly cleaner. Our analysis is also applied to the SPOrt experiment where we find that the contamination of the E-mode is negligible in the $\ell$-range of interest for CMBP large angular scale investigations (multipole $\ell < 10$).

Key words: polarization -- cosmology: cosmic microwave background -- instrumentation: polarimeters -- methods: data analysis

Offprint request: E. Carretti, carretti@bo.iasf.cnr.it

© ESO 2004