Title: Optical and Structural Performance of the PolZero-Lm Time Domain Polarization Scrambler
Primary Author: Illing, Rainer
Organization: Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp.
High precision reflectivity measurements by an orbiting spectrometric sensor (such as HyspIRI, ACE, and Geo-CAPE) require instrumental polarization sensitivity management. The most desirable method of management is total depolarization of the incoming signal with minimal adverse optical side effects. The PolZero design of time domain polarization scrambler has been able to achieve depolarization strength 0.80 ≤ D ≤ 0.99 across the spectral band 430-600 nm; in the symmetric spectral integration mode, the depolarization is D ≥ 0.98 across that band. In operation, the PolZero-Lm (ruggedized laboratory version) shows no apparent image duplication or deflection. This paper will present depolarization strength measurements, and polarized PSF measurements. Ruggedization of the photo-elastic modulator assemblies is critical to aircraft and satellite deployment of the PolZero in spectrometric or radiometric applications. This paper will also present the results of vibration tests of the PolZero-Lm, showing robust performance in vibration-table and aircraft environments.