Dual differential polarimetry. A technique to recover polarimetric information from dual-polarization observations
Journal article, 2016
Current mm / submm interferometers, like the Atacama Large mm / submm Array (ALMA), use receivers that register the sky signal in a linear polarization basis. In the case of observations performed in full-polarization mode (where the cross-correlations are computed among all the polarization channels) it is possible to reconstruct the full-polarization brightness distribution of the observed sources, as long as a proper calibration of delay off sets and leakage among polarization channels can be performed. Observations of calibrators, preferably with some linear polarization, with a good parallactic angle coverage are usually needed for such a calibration. In principle, dual-polarization observations only allow us to recover the Stokes I intensity distribution of the sources, regardless of the parallactic angle coverage of the observations. In this paper, we present a novel technique of dual differential polarimetry that makes it possible to obtain information related to the full-polarization brightness distribution of the observed sources from dual-polarization observations. This technique is inspired in the Earth-rotation polarization synthesis and can be applied even to sources with complex structures.