Spatially coupled inversion of spectro-polarimetric image data
I. Method and first results
M. van Noort
Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research,
Max-Planck Straße 1,
Accepted: 5 October 2012
Context. When inverting solar spectra, image degradation effects that are present in the data are usually approximated or not considered.
Aims. We develop a data reduction method that takes these issues into account and minimizes the resulting errors.
Methods. By accounting for the diffraction PSF of the telescope during the inversions, we can produce a self-consistent solution that best fits the observed data, while simultaneously requiring fewer free parameters than conventional approaches.
Results. Simulations using realistic MHD data indicate that the method is stable for all resolutions, including those with pixel scales well beyond those that can be resolved with a 0.5 m telescope, such as the Hinode SOT. Application of the presented method to reduce full Stokes data from the Hinode spectro-polarimeter results in dramatically increased image contrast and an increase in the resolution of the data to the diffraction limit of the telescope in almost all Stokes and fit parameters. The resulting data allow for detecting and interpreting solar features that have so far only been observed with 1m class ground-based telescopes.
Conclusions. A new inversion method was developed that allows for accurate fitting of solar spectro-polarimetric imaging data over a large field of view, while simultaneously improving the noise statistics and spatial resolution of the results significantly.
Key words: techniques: imaging spectroscopy / techniques: polarimetric / methods: data analysis / methods: numerical
© ESO, 2012