Recent developments for long-wave infrared (LWIR) imaging polarimeters include incorporating a microgrid polarizer array onto the focal plane array. Inherent advantages over other classes of polarimeters include rugged packaging, inherent alignment of the optomechanical system, and temporal synchronization that facilitates instantaneous acquisition of both thermal and polarimetric information. On the other hand, the pixel-to-pixel instantaneous field-of-view error that is inherent in the microgrid strategy leads to false polarization signatures. Because of this error, residual pixel-to-pixel variations in the gain-corrected responsivity, the noise-equivalent input, and variations in the pixel-to-pixel micropolarizer performance are extremely important. The degree of linear polarization is highly sensitive to these parameters and is consequently used as a metric to explore instrument sensitivities. We explore the unpolarized calibration issues associated with this class of LWIR polarimeters and discuss the resulting false polarization signature for thermally flat test scenes.
- infrared polarimetry
- microgrid polarimeters
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics