SPHERE ZIMPOL: overview and performance simulation

The ESO planet finder instrument SPHERE will search for the polarimetric signature of the reflected light from extrasolar planets, using a VLT telescope, an extreme AO system (SAXO), a stellar coronagraph, and an imaging polarimeter (ZIMPOL). We present the design concept of the ZIMPOL instrument, a single-beam polarimeter that achieves very high polarimetric accuracy using fast polarization (...)

Read more

The ZIMPOL high contrast imaging polarimeter for SPHERE: system test results

SPHERE (Spectro-Polarimetric High-contrast Exoplanet Research) is a new instrument for the VLT aimed at the direct detection of exo-planets. It has received its first light in May 2014. ZIMPOL (Zurich Imaging Polarimeter) is the imaging polarimeter subsystem of the SPHERE instrument. It’s capable of both high accuracy and high sensitivity polarimetry but can also be used as a classical imager. (...)

Read more