20 September 2007 Measuring the plane of polarization in a strongly circular signal
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Abstract
The Cassini spacecraft launched in 1997 on a seven year trans-solar system trajectory to reach and orbit Saturn communicates with a circularly polarized carrier signal at multiple frequencies. The transmitted signal includes a very weak component in the opposite polarization (1%). The plane of polarization of this elliptically polarized signal can be used when Cassini is in superior conjunction with the sun to probe the magnetic field of the solar corona through the process known as Faraday rotation. Using a dual circularly polarized receiver, the two components (Left- and Right-Circularly Polarized) were measured during the Cassini superior conjunction in 2002 and analyzed to determine the plane of polarization. The measured plane of polarization was then corrected for leakage between the two circular components in the polarizer. We discuss the methods used for determining the plane of polarization and calibration of the polarizer.
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Elizabeth A. Jensen, Elizabeth A. Jensen, Christopher T. Russell, Christopher T. Russell, } "Measuring the plane of polarization in a strongly circular signal", Proc. SPIE 6689, Solar Physics and Space Weather Instrumentation II, 668910 (20 September 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.734860; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.734860
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