, Volume 249, Issue 2, pp 233-261
Date: 05 Apr 2008

Polarization Calibration of the Solar Optical Telescope onboard Hinode

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The Solar Optical Telescope (SOT) onboard Hinode aims to obtain vector magnetic fields on the Sun through precise spectropolarimetry of solar spectral lines with a spatial resolution of 0.2 – 0.3 arcsec. A photometric accuracy of 10−3 is achieved and, after the polarization calibration, any artificial polarization from crosstalk among Stokes parameters is required to be suppressed below the level of the statistical noise over the SOT’s field of view. This goal was achieved by the highly optimized design of the SOT as a polarimeter, extensive analyses and testing of optical elements, and an end-to-end calibration test of the entire system. In this paper we review both the approach adopted to realize the high-precision polarimeter of the SOT and its final polarization characteristics.