Imaging & Spectroscopy

AOTF Based Spectro-Polarimeter For Observing Earth As An Exoplanet

By Keith Cowing
Status Report
February 22, 2023
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AOTF Based Spectro-Polarimeter For Observing Earth As An Exoplanet
Observation Geometry and instrument configuration. (Left) The orbital configuration of the Moon and the Earth along with the instrument FOV. The relative orientation of the instrument reference plane with respect to the Sun-Earth-Moon plane is also shown. (Right) A functional diagram of the suggested instrument is shown on the right. The input aperture, FOV and instrument reference planes are marked for the instrument. — astro-ph.IM

Earth is the only known habitable planet and it serves as a testbed to benchmark the observations of temperate and more Earth-like exoplanets.

It is required to observe the disc-integrated signatures of Earth for a large range of phase angles, resembling the observations of an exoplanet. In this work, an AOTF (Acousto-Optic Tunable Filter) based experiment is designed to observe the spectro-polarimetric signatures of Earth.

The results of spectroscopic and polarimetric laboratory calibration are presented here along with a brief overview of a possible instrument configuration. Based on the results of the spectro-polarimetric calibration, simulations are carried out to optimize the instrument design for the expected signal levels for various observing conditions.

The usefulness of an AOTF based spectro-polarimeter is established from this study and it is found that, in the present configuration, the instrument can achieve a polarimetric accuracy of <0.3\% for linear polarization for an integration time of 100 ms or larger. The design configuration of the instrument and the planning of conducting such observations from Lunar orbit are discussed.

Bhavesh Jaiswal, Swapnil Singh, Anand Jain, K Sankarasubramanian, Anuj Nandi

Comments: 23 Pages, 10 Figures, 4 Tables
Subjects: Instrumentation and Methods for Astrophysics (astro-ph.IM); Earth and Planetary Astrophysics (astro-ph.EP)
Cite as: arXiv:2302.10712 [astro-ph.IM] (or arXiv:2302.10712v1 [astro-ph.IM] for this version)
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Journal reference: Journal of Astronomical Telescopes, Instruments, and Systems, Volume 8, id. 044007 (2022)
Submission history
From: Bhavesh Jaiswal
[v1] Tue, 21 Feb 2023 14:55:16 UTC (1,397 KB)

Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA Space Station Payload manager/space biologist, Away Teams, Journalist, Lapsed climber, Synaesthete, Na’Vi-Jedi-Freman-Buddhist-mix, ASL, Devon Island and Everest Base Camp veteran, (he/him) πŸ––πŸ»