We describe the design and first calibration tests of an imaging polarimeter based on Liquid Crystal Variable Retarders (LCVRs), for the study of the solar K-corona. This K-polarimeter (KPol) is part of the visible light path of the UltraViolet and Visible-light Coronal Imager (UVCI) of the Sounding-rocket Coronagraphic Experiment (SCORE). SCORE/UVCI is an externally occulted, off-axis Gregorian telescope, optimized for the narrow-band (i.e., λ/▵λ ~10) imaging of the HeII, λ 30.4 nm and HI λ 121.6 nm coronal emission. We present some preliminary results of the application of LCVR plates to measurements of linear polarized radiation. LCVR plates replace mechanically rotating retarders with electro-optical devices, without no moving parts. LCVR are variable waveplates, in which the change of the retardance is induced by a variable applied voltage. The retardance of a LCVR is a function of the wavelength. KPol observations of the visible coronal continuum of the Sun (K-corona) will be made over the 450-600 nm wavelength band. We have studied the LCVR's properties in this bandpass. We tested a LCVR plate assembled in a linear polarization rotator configuration to measure the polarization plane rotation of input radiation as a function of wavelength. We estimated the LCVR's chromatic response in the KPol wavelength bandpass. The preliminary results show reasonable achromatic behaviour at high regimes of the driving voltage, Vd (i.e., Vd>3 volt).
KPol: liquid crystal polarimeter for K-corona observations from the SCORE coronagraph / S. Fineschi;L. Zangrilli;G. Rossi;L. Gori;M. Romoli;G. Corti;G. Capobianco;E. Antonucci;E. Pace. - STAMPA. - (2005), pp. 389-399. [10.1117/12.626033]