The principles of a polarizing atmospheric Michelson interferometer are outlined. The tilt of its reflection mirror results in deflection of the reflected beam and affects the intensities of the observed inteferogram. This effect is systematically analyzed. Both rectangular and circular apertures are considered. The theoretical expression of the modulation depth and phase of the interferogram are derived. These parameters vary with the inclination angle of the mirror and the distance between the deflection center and the optical axis and significantly influence the retrieved temperature and wind speed. If the wind and temperature errors are required to be less than and 5 K, the deflection angle must be less than 0.5°. The errors are also dependent on the shape of aperture. If the reflection mirror is deflected in one direction, the temperature error is smaller for a circular aperture (1.3 K) than for a rectangular one (2.6 K), but the wind velocity errors are almost the same (less than ). If the deflection center and incident light beam are coincident, the temperature errors are and 0.45 K for circular and rectangular apertures, respectively. The wind velocity errors are and . Both are small. The result would be helpful for theoretical research and development of the static polarization wind imaging interferometer.
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