Abstract

The Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) is one of five instruments onboard the Suomi National Polar-Orbiting Partnership (SNPP) satellite that launched from Vandenberg Air Force Base, California, on October 28, 2011. It is a whiskbroom radiometer that provides ±56.28° scans of the Earth view. It has 22 bands, among which 14 are reflective solar bands (RSBs). The RSBs cover a wavelength range from 410 to 2250 nm. The RSBs of a remote sensor are usually sensitive to the polarization of incident light. For VIIRS, it is specified that the polarization factor should be smaller than 3% for 410 and 862 nm bands and 2.5% for other RSBs for the scan angle within ±45°. Several polarization sensitivity tests were performed prelaunch for SNPP VIIRS. The first few tests either had large uncertainty or were less reliable, while the last one was believed to provide the more accurate information about the polarization property of the instrument. In this paper, the measured data in the last polarization sensitivity test are analyzed, and the polarization factors and phase angles are derived from the measurements for all the RSBs. The derived polarization factors and phase angles are band, detector, and scan angle dependent. For near-infrared bands, they also depend on the half-angle mirror side. Nevertheless, the derived polarization factors are all within the specification, although the strong detector dependence of the polarization parameters was not expected. Compared to the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on both Aqua and Terra satellites, the polarization effect on VIIRS RSB is much smaller.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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