Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation
Journal articles

Polarization measurements analysis - I. Impact of the full covariance matrix on polarization fraction and angle measurements

Abstract : With the forthcoming release of high precision polarization measurements, such as from the Planck satellite, the metrology of polarization needs to improve. In particular, it is crucial to take into account full knowledge of the noise properties when estimating polarization fraction and angle, which suffer from well-known biases. While strong simplifying assumptions have usually been made in polarization analysis, we present a method for including the full covariance matrix of the Stokes parameters in estimates for the distributions of the polarization fraction and angle. We thereby quantify the impact of the noise properties on the biases in the observational quantities. We derive analytical expressions for the pdf of these quantities, taking into account the full complexity of the covariance matrix, including the Stokes I intensity components. We perform simulations to explore the impact of the noise properties on the statistical variance and bias of the polarization fraction and angle. We show that for low variations of the effective ellipticity between the Q and U components around the symmetrical case the covariance matrix may be simplified as is usually done, with negligible impact on the bias. For S/N on intensity lower than 10 the uncertainty on the total intensity is shown to drastically increase the uncertainty of the polarization fraction but not the relative bias, while a 10\% correlation between the intensity and the polarized components does not significantly affect the bias of the polarization fraction. We compare estimates of the uncertainties affecting polarization measurements, addressing limitations of estimates of the S/N, and we show how to build conservative confidence intervals for polarization fraction and angle simultaneously. This study is the first of a set of papers dedicated to the analysis of polarization measurements.
Complete list of metadatas

http://hal.in2p3.fr/in2p3-01027539
Contributor : Sabine Starita <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, July 22, 2014 - 11:05:19 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 3:56:22 AM

Links full text

Identifiers

Citation

L. Montier, Stéphane Plaszczynski, F. Levrier, M. Tristram, D. Alina, et al.. Polarization measurements analysis - I. Impact of the full covariance matrix on polarization fraction and angle measurements. Astronomy and Astrophysics - A&A, EDP Sciences, 2015, 574, pp.A135. ⟨10.1051/0004-6361/201322271⟩. ⟨in2p3-01027539⟩

Share

Metrics

Record views

626