Lessons learned from six decades of radio polarimetry
Menten, K. M.;
The characterization of polarized emission from continuum radiation and spectral lines across large-scale galactic and extragalactic fields is a typical application of single-dish telescopes, from radio to far-infrared wavelengths. Despite its high analytical value, in many cases polarimetry was added to the design specifications of telescopes and their frontends only in advanced development stages. While in some situations the instrumental contamination of the Stokes parameters can be corrected, this becomes increasingly difficult for extended fields. This contribution summarizes the current situation at mm/submm telescopes. Strategies for post-observing polarization calibration are presented as well as methods to optimize the components in the beam path.