Evaluation and display of polarimetric image data using long-wave cooled microgrid focal plane arrays

David L. Bowers, James K. Boger, L. David Wellems, Wiley T. Black, Steve E. Ortega, Bradley M. Ratliff, Matthew P. Fetrow, John E. Hubbs, J. Scott Tyo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

23 Scopus citations


Recent developments for Long Wave InfraRed (LWIR) imaging polarimeters include incorporating a microgrid polarizer array onto the focal plane array (FPA). Inherent advantages over typical polarimeters include packaging and instantaneous acquisition of thermal and polarimetric information. This allows for real time video of thermal and polarimetric products. The microgrid approach has inherent polarization measurement error due to the spatial sampling of a non-uniform scene, residual pixel to pixel variations in the gain corrected responsivity and in the noise equivalent input (NEI), and variations in the pixel to pixel micro-polarizer performance. The Degree of Linear Polarization (DoLP) is highly sensitive to these parameters and is consequently used as a metric to explore instrument sensitivities. Image processing and fusion techniques are used to take advantage of the inherent thermal and polarimetric sensing capability of this FPA, providing additional scene information in real time. Optimal operating conditions are employed to improve FPA uniformity and sensitivity. Data from two DRS Infrared Technologies, L.P. (DRS) microgrid polarizer HgCdTe FPAs are presented. One FPA resides in a liquid nitrogen (LN2) pour filled dewar with a 80° K nominal operating temperature. The other FPA resides in a cryogenic (cryo) dewar with a 60° K nominal operating temperature.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolarization
Subtitle of host publicationMeasurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing VII
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventPolarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing VII - Kissimmee, FL, United States
Duration: Apr 20 2006Apr 21 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherPolarization: Measurement, Analysis, and Remote Sensing VII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKissimmee, FL


  • Focal Plane Array
  • Image Fusion
  • Image Processing
  • Long-wave Infrared
  • Microgrid
  • Polarimeter
  • Polarimetry
  • Remote Sensing
  • Video-rate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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