Volume 498, Number 2, May I 2009
|Page(s)||591 - 599|
|Published online||11 March 2009|
Full Stokes polarimetric observations with a single-dish radio telescope
Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomie, Auf dem Hügel 69, 53121 Bonn, Germany e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Istituto di Radioastronomia, INAF, via P. Gobetti 101, 40129 Bologna, Italy
Corresponding author: email@example.com
Accepted: 22 January 2009
Context. The study of the linear and circular polarization in AGN allows one to gain detailed information about the properties of the magnetic fields in these objects. However, the observation of circular polarization (CP) with single-dish radio telescopes, in particular, is usually difficult because of the expected weak signal. Measurements of CP are normally derived as (small) differences between two large numbers (left hand circular, LHC, and right hand circular, RHC), and an accurate calibration is absolutely necessary.
Aims. We attempt to improve the calibration accuracy by including the Stokes parameter V in the common single-dish polarimetric measurements, thus allowing a full Stokes study of the source under examination.
Methods. By completing a detailed study, up to 2nd order, of the Müller matrix elements in terms of cross-talk components, we are able to reach the accuracy necessary to study circular polarization.
Results. The new calibration method was applied to data taken at the 100-m Effelsberg radio telescope during regular test observations of extragalactic sources at 2.8, 3.6, 6, and 11 cm. The D-terms in phase and amplitude appear stable with time and the few known values of circular polarization were reproduced.
Conclusions. Whenever a classical receiver and a multiplying polarimeter are available, we demonstrate that the proposed calibration scheme allows one to include Stokes V in standard single-dish polarimetric observations as the difference between two native circular outputs.
Key words: polarization / radio continuum: galaxies / techniques: polarimetric / methods: observational
© ESO, 2009
Current usage metrics show cumulative count of Article Views (full-text article views including HTML views, PDF and ePub downloads, according to the available data) and Abstracts Views on Vision4Press platform.
Data correspond to usage on the plateform after 2015. The current usage metrics is available 48-96 hours after online publication and is updated daily on week days.
Initial download of the metrics may take a while.