Abstract

We have developed a foreoptics module that converts the Submillimeter High Angular Resolution Camera generation II (SHARC-II) camera at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory into a sensitive imaging polarimeter at wavelengths of 350 and 450μm. We refer to this module as “SHARP.” SHARP splits the incident radiation into two orthogonally polarized beams that are then reimaged onto opposite ends of the 32×12 pixel detector array in SHARC-II. A rotating half-wave plate is used just upstream from the polarization-splitting optics. The effect of SHARP is to convert SHARC-II into a dual-beam 12×12 pixel polarimeter. A novel feature of SHARP's design is the use of a crossed grid in a submillimeter polarimeter. Here we describe the detailed optical design of SHARP and present results of tests carried out during our first few observing runs. At 350μm, the beam size (9 arc sec), throughput (75%), and instrumental polarization (<1%) are all very close to our design goals.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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