The Photopolarimeter Subsystem's primary scientific objectives were divided into three categories—studies of atmospheres, satellite surfaces, and rings. PPS used a 0.2 m telescope fitted with filters and polarization analyzers, it covered eight wavelengths in the region between 235 nm and 750 nm. The experiment was designed to determine the physical properties of particulate matter in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, and the Rings of Saturn by measuring the intensity and linear polarization of scattered sunlight. The experiment also provided information on the texture and probable composition of the surfaces of the satellites of Jupiter and Saturn and the properties of the sodium cloud around Io.
The PPS on both Voyager 1 and 2 were turned off due to degraded performance (1980 and 1991 respectively).