As instrumentation advances, polarization measurements and the measurement of polarization sensitive data using a tracking mount and Coude’ path is becoming increasingly important. Polarization measurements are of importance to astronomical, military, and other photometric intelligence gathering systems. This paper describes a tracking mount optical geometry, referred to as the “Polarization Fidelity Mount”, which allows a high degree of polarization fidelity to be conveyed from a tracking telescope in a gimbal to a stationary sensor package in the base of the tracking mount, via a Coude’ path. Modeling to quantify the polarization fidelity of the mount design is described, and comparisons are made to a standard Az El mount Coude’ path geometry. Zemax is used to model both the attenuation and polarization effects of the two mounts, for a set of angles over the field of regard.

© 2006 Optical Society of America

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