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Weber, Anna; Kölling, Tobias; Pörtge, Veronika; Baumgartner, Andreas; Rammeloo, Clemens; Zinner, Tobias; Mayer, Bernhard (2024): Polarization upgrade of specMACS: calibration and characterization of the 2D RGB polarization-resolving cameras. Atmospheric Measurement Techniques, 17 (5). pp. 1419-1439. ISSN 1867-8548

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The spectrometer of the Munich Aerosol Cloud Scanner (specMACS) is a high-spatial-resolution hyperspectral and polarized imaging system. It is operated from a nadir-looking perspective aboard the German High Altitude and LOng range (HALO) research aircraft and is mainly used for the remote sensing of clouds. In 2019, its two hyperspectral line cameras, which are sensitive to the wavelength range between 400 and 2500 nm, were complemented by two 2D RGB polarization-resolving cameras. The polarization-resolving cameras have a large field of view and allow for multi-angle polarimetric imaging with high angular and spatial resolution. This paper introduces the polarization-resolving cameras and provides a full characterization and calibration of them. We performed a geometric calibration and georeferencing of the two cameras. In addition, a radiometric calibration using laboratory calibration measurements was carried out. The radiometric calibration includes the characterization of the dark signal, linearity, and noise as well as the measurement of the spectral response functions, a polarization calibration, vignetting correction, and absolute radiometric calibration. With the calibration, georeferenced, absolute calibrated Stokes vectors rotated into the scattering plane can be computed from raw data. We validated the calibration results by comparing observations of the sunglint, which is a known target, with radiative transfer simulations of the sunglint.

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