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1 November 2004 Polarization and planet-detecting nulling interferometers
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Due to the highly stringent requirements on planet-detecting nulling interferometers, many approximations made for standard imaging systems are no longer valid. Analyses using scalar electric fields must be modified to employ vector (polarized) electric fields. In this paper, we present definitions of Stokes-related vectors, Mueller matrices, and the responses (scalar and vector) of single- and dual- Bracewell instruments. We study systematic errors due to instrumental polarization, discussing mismatched elliptically polarized arms, misaligned mirror trains, and beam non-uniformities. Also, we consider systematic errors due to interstellar polarization and polarized starspots. Last, we briefly discuss ancillary science projects that are possible with a space-based interferometer and polarimeter.
© (2004) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Nicholas M. Elias II, David W. Draper, and M. Charles Noecker "Polarization and planet-detecting nulling interferometers", Proc. SPIE 5555, Instruments, Methods, and Missions for Astrobiology VIII, (1 November 2004);

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