Abstract

We provide an analysis of the influence of instrument polarization sensitivity on the radiance measured by spaceborne ocean color sensors. Simulated examples demonstrate the influence of polarization sensitivity on the retrieval of the water-leaving reflectance ρw. A simple method for partially correcting for polarization sensitivity—replacing the linear polarization properties of the top-of-atmosphere reflectance with those from a Rayleigh-scattering atmosphere—is provided and its efficacy is evaluated. It is shown that this scheme improves ρw retrievals as long as the polarization sensitivity of the instrument does not vary strongly from band to band. Of course, a complete polarization-sensitivity characterization of the ocean color sensor is required to implement the correction.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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