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20 July 2010 EPOL: the exoplanet polarimeter for EPICS at the E-ELT
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EPOL is the imaging polarimeter part of EPICS (Exoplanet Imaging Camera and Spectrograph) for the 42-m E-ELT. It is based on sensitive imaging polarimetry to differentiate between linearly polarized light from exoplanets and unpolarized, scattered starlight and to characterize properties of exoplanet atmospheres and surfaces that cannot be determined from intensity observations alone. EPOL consists of a coronagraph and a dual-beam polarimeter with a liquid-crystal retarder to exchange the polarization of the two beams. The polarimetry thereby increases the contrast between star and exoplanet by 3 to 5 orders of magnitude over what the extreme adaptive optics and the EPOL coronagraph alone can achieve. EPOL operates between 600 and 900 nm, can select more specific wavelength bands with filters and aims at having an integral field unit to obtain linearly polarized spectra of known exoplanets. We present the conceptual design of EPOL along with an analysis of its performance.
© (2010) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Christoph U. Keller, Hans Martin Schmid, Lars B. Venema, Hiddo Hanenburg, Rieks Jager, Markus Kasper, Patrice Martinez, Florence Rigal, Michiel Rodenhuis, Ronald Roelfsema, Frans Snik, Christophe Verinaud, and Natalia Yaitskova "EPOL: the exoplanet polarimeter for EPICS at the E-ELT", Proc. SPIE 7735, Ground-based and Airborne Instrumentation for Astronomy III, 77356G (20 July 2010);

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