Linear polarimeter to study asteroids

These polarimetric studies will be crucial in obtaining physical information about the small bodies in our solar system.

The sensors used until now are optimised for locating objects with rapid polarization variation, but this can greatly limit the number of possible targets.
A joint project involving the INAF (the Italian National Institute of Astrophysics) in Padua and Turin; Lagrange Laboratory, the Sophia-Antipolis University of Nice, CNRS (the French National Centre for Scientific Research), and the CCôtete d’Azur Observatory, led to the design of a linear polarimeter which can overcome limitations of its predecessor.

The prototype presented was manufactured by Lobre s.r.l., with the optics created in Carpenedolo (BS) and the mechanisms in our laboratory in Milan.

The project was presented by Professor Claudio Pernechele of INAF in Padova to the SPIE (“Astronomical Telescope and Instrumentation”) to Amsterdam in July 2012.

Published in the SPIE Proceedings on “Astronomical Telescope and Instrumentation”, Amsterdam, July 2012. All rights reserved to SPIE Society