The SUNRISE balloon project is a high-resolution mission to study solar magnetic fields able to resolve the critical scale of 100 km in the solar photosphere, or about one photon mean free path. The Imaging Magnetograph eXperiment (IMaX) is one of the three instruments that will fly in the balloon and will receive light from the 1m aperture telescope of the mission. IMaX should take advantage of the 15 days of uninterrupted solar observations and the exceptional resolution to help clarifying our understanding of the
small-scale magnetic concentrations that pervade the solar surface. For this, IMaX should act as a diffraction limited imager able to carry out spectroscopic analysis with resolutions in the 50.000-100.000 range and capable to perform polarization measurements. The solutions adopted by the project to achieve all these three demanding goals are explained in this article. They include the use of Liquid Crystal Variable Retarders for the polarization modulation, one
LiNbO3 etalon in double pass and two modern CCD detectors that allow for the application of phase diversity techniques by slightly changing the focus of one of the CCDs.© (2004) COPYRIGHT SPIE--The International Society for Optical Engineering. Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.