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High Altitude Observatory (HAO) – National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) The National Center for Atmospheric Research is operated by the University.

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Presentation on theme: "High Altitude Observatory (HAO) – National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) The National Center for Atmospheric Research is operated by the University."— Presentation transcript:

1 High Altitude Observatory (HAO) – National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) The National Center for Atmospheric Research is operated by the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research under sponsorship of the National Science Foundation. An Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. The Chromospheric Magnetometer ChroMag Alfred de Wijn

2 Oskar von der Lühe: Velocity maps at different heights Vector field maps at different heights Other quantities relevant to Space Weather With high sensitivity, cadence, duty cycle, and lifetime

3 Questions What is the role of the chromosphere in the mass and energy balance of the corona? What magnetic configurations lead to flares and CMEs? How are prominences formed, and how are they related to CMEs? Where does the solar wind originate and how is it accelerated?

4 Chromospheric and coronal structure is dominated by magnetic field. We must know the magnetic field at the force-free bottom boundary in order to understand solar activity in the heliosphere: flares, CMEs, etc. Extrapolating from photospheric (vector) field does not work.

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6 We need spectral lines with a chromospheric contribution of which the formation is understood that are sensitive to magnetic field. We would prefer lines in the optical or near-infrared. We’re in luck: He nm and the Ca IR triplet 849.8/854.2/866.2 nm.

7 How can we make quantitative measurements of magnetic field? We can infer plasma parameters from full-Stokes spectral line profiles. Solve the forward problem: synthesize a line, compare with the observation, and repeat until a match is found.

8 Both He and Ca are promising diagnostics, and several inversion codes already exist. But: Radiative transfer of the Ca IR triplet is difficult and 2 of the lines suffer from blends. He nm is very weak outside of active regions.

9 We need a spectrograph or a wavelength-tunable imager to measure the line profiles. Detectors are 2D, but observation space is 3D: 2 spatial, 1 spectral dimension. We have to slice the cube somehow. And observing is never easy anyway.

10 Why is quantitative polarimetry difficult? Detectors are sensitive to intensity. We must encode the Stokes 4-vector into intensity measurements, and decode it from the observations. Polarimetry is by necessity a difference measurement. Polarization signals are small compared to intensity.

11 How do we analyze the data? Remember the “inversion” process: synthesize, compare, repeat. We need a model atmosphere, and calculate polarized radiative transfer. So why is that so difficult?

12 Observations Atmospheric Model External Fields Radiative Transfer Atomic Excitation Radiation Output Statistical Equilibrium The best minimum is hard to find. Solutions may depend on assumptions made in the model. Ambiguities exist in the solution.

13 How can we improve our measurements? We can add constraints through more observations. Multi-line diagnostics in particular turn out to be very powerful.

14 A chromospheric magnetometer needs high-cadence, moderate to high spatial resolution, and high polarimetric sensitivity. A compromise can be made on spectral resolution. ChroMag is a full-disk imaging spectro- polarimeter under construction at HAO.

15 Provides synoptic full-disk imaging spectro- polarimetry in: He I & nm: chromospheric magnetograms Hα nm: chromospheric structure and dynamics Ca II nm: chromospheric magnetograms Fe I nm: photospheric magnetograms High cadence: < 1 minute for all lines Moderate spatial resolution: 2.2 arcsec (1.1 arcsec pixels) Field of view: 1.2×1.5 R sun High polarimetric sensitivity: > 10 3

16 Instrument Overview Primary singlet lens 12.5 cm aperture Field lens Pre-filter Polarimeter & Lyot filter Camera lens Focal plane

17 Lyot filter overview Electro-optically tunable Usable range: 587–1085 nm 6 stages, thickest stage has 88mm of calcite Andor Neo sCMOS camera, 30 Hz

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