The sun produces unpolarized light which then passes through our atmosphere, and is polarized in a specific way depending on the material it passes through. Our goal is to design an optical front end able to be attached to an ASD spectrometer or Ocean Optics spectrometer. This optical front end will be mounted on a telescope mount and then pointed at a specific point in the sky. At this specific point, say a cloud, data will be collected and the polarization state of light will be characterized.
An optical front end is required to filter polarized light ranging from visible to short-wave infrared wavelengths. This instrument will accomplish the following level one requirements:
- Front end must mount on a telescope mount.
- Instrument must be able to measure degree polarization spectra within 1-2% accuracy.
- Instrument must be able to be applied to instruments ranging from 400nm to 2500nm.
- Demonstration to be performed with instrument out to 1000nm, but optics must support 2500nm.
- Instrument must be designed to operate with an ASD Fieldspec and OceanOptics spectrometer.
- Desired performance of instrument to measure entire spectrum at once. However, it is acceptable to break measurements into two bands.
- Device must be able to be run from a single program in Windows. This includes telescope mount control, ASD Spectrometer Data, Ocean Optics Spectrometer Data, and rotation stage control.