A&A 437, 1159-1167 (2005)
Polarimetric Littrow Spectrograph - instrument calibration and first measurementsC. Beck1, W. Schmidt1, T. Kentischer1 and D. Elmore2
1 Kiepenheuer-Institut für Sonnenphysik, Schöneckstr. 6, 79104 Freiburg, Germany
2 High Altitude Observatory, National Center for Atmospheric Research, 3450 Mitchell Lane, Boulder, Colorado 80301, USA
(Received 10 January 2005 / Accepted 5 April 2005 )
We present first measurements and the calibration procedure for the Polarimetric Littrow Spectrograph (POLIS) operated at the Vacuum Tower Telescope on Tenerife, together with a brief summary of the technical characteristics of the instrument. In its present configuration, we achieve a polarimetric accuracy of about in the visible channel (630 nm) of the instrument. The accuracy is limited by cross talk among the different polarization states. The detection limit for polarized light is about for a 7 s exposure. Polarimetric measurements in the blue channel ( H line, 396.7 nm) are strongly limited by the low photon flux. At this wavelength we present Stokes-V maps with a spatial resolution of about 0.5 arcs. The polarimetric quality of any spectropolarimeter is limited by the precision of the instrument calibration. We present a new method for self-calibration that reduces cross talk among the polarization components to 0.1%. This improvement results from a measurement of the retardance of the calibration waveplate with an accuracy of 0.1°. We demonstrate the capability of the simultaneous use of POLIS and the Tenerife Infrared Polarimeter which is integrated in the main spectrograph of the Vacuum Tower Telescope.
Key words: Sun: magnetic fields -- instrumentation: polarimeters
© ESO 2005