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15 November 2000 Infrared Stokes polarimeter calibration
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Accurately calibrating an infrared polarimeter presents several challenges. Some of these challenges include characterization of the polarization elements within the polarimeter, overcoming the effects of thermal emissions within the polarimeter, and developing a test setup and procedure for conclusively verifying the instrument calibration. We describe our efforts to absolutely calibrate our imaging Stokes polarimeter that operates in the mid-wave infrared band (3 to 5 microns). We have developed a generator that provides well-controlled polarization states for calibrating the polarimeter. This generator overcomes problems associated with thermal emissions, stray reflections, and narcissus effects. While the polarization state emitted by the generator is not known with extreme accuracy, we are able to rotate the generated state without affecting its degree of polarization or ellipticity. We show that we can create a complete set of input states to allow a full calibration of the polarimeter, and we describe a technique for optimizing the calibration based on a variance-minimization. Results of our calibration are presented, indicating that our polarimeter precision is better than 0.1%. This technique is not limited to infrared polarimeters and should therefore have broad applicability.
© (2000) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Matthew H. Smith, Miranda A. Miller, Robert V. Blumer, Mark A. Stevens, David M. Teale, and James D. Howe "Infrared Stokes polarimeter calibration", Proc. SPIE 4133, Polarization Analysis, Measurement, and Remote Sensing III, (15 November 2000);

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