Stokes resolved differential temperature: an important metric of polarimetric precision in the long-wave infrared

Kira A. Hart Shanks, Russell A. Chipman, Dong L. Wu, Meredith K. Kupinski

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

2 Scopus citations


In remote sensing, radiometric measurements taken in the mid-wave infrared and beyond (λ > 3μm) are commonly reported in units of Kelvin by utilizing Planck's radiation law to relate measured radiance and target brightness temperature (Tb). Thus, it is desirable to match this formalism in thermal polarimetry and report the unnormalized Stokes parameters in units of K instead of radiance (Wm-2sr-1). This approach also allows common performance metrics in long-wave infrared (LWIR) imaging such as Noise Equivalent Differential Temperature (NEDT) to be modified and extended to metrics of polarimetric accuracy and precision. However, since the relationship between measured radiance and Tb are non-linear, the conversion of I, Q, and U in units of radiance to Tb, Tb,Q, and Tb,U in K is ambiguous. As a solution a metric of performance for thermal linear Stokes polarimetry, the Stokes resolved differential temperature (SRDT), is introduced.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPolarization Science and Remote Sensing X
EditorsMeredith K. Kupinski, Joseph A. Shaw, Frans Snik
ISBN (Electronic)9781510645042
StatePublished - 2021
EventPolarization Science and Remote Sensing X 2021 - San Diego, United States
Duration: Aug 1 2021Aug 5 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferencePolarization Science and Remote Sensing X 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Diego


  • LWIR
  • NEDT
  • infrared
  • polarimetry
  • remote sensing
  • thermal

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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