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3 May 2006 Imaging spectropolarimetry of cloudy skies
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The polarization state of atmospheric radiance varies with cloudiness and cloud type. We have developed a dual-field-of-view imaging spectro-polarimeter for measuring atmospheric polarization in five spectral bands from 450 to 700 nm. This instrument improves the acquisition time of past full-sky digital camera designs to 400 ms using liquid crystal variable retarders (LCVRs). The system can be used to measure polarization with either fisheye or telephoto optics, allowing studies of all-sky and target polarization. We present and describe measurements of sky polarization with clear and variably cloudy sky conditions. In clear skies, we observe a slight upward trend of the degree of polarization with wavelength, in agreement with previous observations. Presence of clouds generally reduces both cloudy sky and surrounding clear sky degree of polarization. The polarization measured from a cloud often reflects only the Rayleigh scattering between the instrument and the cloud, but some of our recent data shows partially polarized cloud scattering.
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Nathan Pust and Joseph A. Shaw "Imaging spectropolarimetry of cloudy skies", Proc. SPIE 6240, Polarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing VII, 624006 (3 May 2006);

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