Abstract

We report on the construction and calibration of a dual photoelastic-modulator (PEM)-based polarimetric camera operating at 660nm. This camera is our first prototype for a multispectral system being developed for airborne and spaceborne remote sensing of atmospheric aerosols. The camera includes a dual-PEM assembly integrated into a three-element, low-polarization reflective telescope and provides both intensity and polarization imaging. A miniaturized focal-plane assembly consisting of spectral filters and patterned wire-grid polarizers provides wavelength and polarimetric selection. A custom push-broom detector array with specialized signal acquisition, readout, and processing electronics captures the radiometric and polarimetric information. Focal-plane polarizers at orientations of 0° and 45° yield the normalized Stokes parameters q=Q/I and u=U/I respectively, which are then coregistered to obtain degree of linear polarization (DOLP) and angle of linear polarization. Laboratory test data, calibration results, and outdoor imagery acquired with the camera are presented. The results show that, over a wide range of DOLP, our challenging objective of uncertainty within ±0.005 has been achieved.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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