Optical EngineeringInstrument effects in polarized infrared images
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We describe three instrument effects that cause polarized infrared images of a blackbody source to exhibit intriguing polarization dependence and image nonuniformity. The origins of these problems are reflection of background radiation from the wire-grid polarizer and frictional heating of the polarizer mount. Our model shows that the two surfaces of a wire-grid polarizer act like a partial polarizer-analyzer pair for reflected radiance. These effects must be considered carefully in applications such as polarimetric remote sensing, which require calibration uncertainties less than 1%.