Submillimeter array polarimetry with hertz

C. Darren Dpoweix*, Roger H. Hildebrand, David A. Schleuning, John E. Vaillancourt, Jessie L. Dotson, Giles Novak, Tom Renbarger, Martin Houde

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


We describe the characteristics of the 350 μm polarimeter Hertz learned from laboratory tests and recent observations at the Caltech Submillimeter Observatory. Hertz contains a pair of 32 element arrays with 18″ pixel spacing and 20″ resolution. The instrument has been improved since initial observations in 1994 and 1995; the detector noise is now below the sky background noise. In excellent weather conditions on Mauna Kea, the noise-equivalent flux density (NEFD) for the measurement of polarized flux is 3-4 Jy Hz-1/2. The subtraction of correlated sky noise accomplished by the two-array design is crucial for achieving this performance. A method for analysis of our polarization data in the presence of the correlated noise is described. The instrumental polarization of Hertz is less than 0.5% across the detector array. Systematic errors in the measurement of polarization are less than 0.2%. We present a 350 urn polarization map of Sgr B2 with 140 detections at greater than 3 a significance. For our current database of all 350 polarization measurements, the median polarization is 1.1%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)588-598
Number of pages11
JournalAstrophysical Journal
Issue number1 PART I
StatePublished - 1998


  • ISM: magnetic fields
  • Infrared: ISM: continuum
  • Instrumentation: polarimeters
  • Polarization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics
  • Space and Planetary Science


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